I'll give you two suggestions assuming your getting the Bold from AT&T. Upgrade the OS to 18.104.22.1686 and look into debranding. You can do a search for other user comments as well. Unfortunately, the AT&T 3G network in many areas, NYC Metro included, isn't just bad, its horrible. Debranding will allow you to keep the phone on 2G so you can actually use it to make calls.
The hardware is very good. On 3G, even 2G, the calls are crystal clear; keyboard and screen are excellent. A little disappointed with video playback, video and audio get out of sync but it isn't a big deal for me.
As for software, I'm using pretty much the same as I had with the 8700.
I would never recommend upgrading the OS to a new user or to a new device right out of the box.
One should work with it for a while and learn what it can and cannot do. Just maybe, it will do the things you want it to do out without the need to fix it, I know mine does. I have not felt the need to go to the latest and greatest OS.
3G works well for me. It all depends on where the user is located. I agree that there are certain places where it isn't that good, but all carriers have problems.
Keep in mind that there is some degree of risk inherent in an OS upgrade. You could turn the device into a brick, never to rise again.
We do not discuss debranding as it uses illegal software pirated from RIM.
I'm not worried about a os upgrade. You follow the directions and your fine. I've done it many times on curvs. But the fact of 3g it isn't in my area so I can't use it right now anyways. And I was asking about apps just for the bold or upper bbs. And I searched the aftermarket and didn't see anything that was just about the bold. That's why I asked the bold users here.
If you don't have 3G where you are, then you should be quite happy with the phone. As dubdub mentioned debranding isn't for new users and it sucks as a solution; I'm really pissed I had to go that route. It was that, or go to Verizon, so I picked the better (for me) of two bad solutions.
As for software, there are plenty of threads my picks, RexWireless software, google maps and sync, wls and podtrapper I use pretty much daily.