Q- "Also, what is the strength of RIM operating system and such? Is this company in decline or are they remaining competative? "
A- I refer you to Mark's BIG BlackBerry FAQ!
Q-"Can you EDIT word or excel documents on the 7520?"
A- Yes, Clicky
Q- Finally, does anyone know if you can view google's email service, gmail, through the browser? I'm hoping not to have to switch my email address."
A- I have mine forewarded to my nextel.blackberry.net address. You can set your replay to and sent from adresses in BWC to make it appear you are sending mail from your gmail account.
Hope this helps