The keyboard is not ideal for those (like me) with slightly larger than normal hands, but not impossible to use. That's the bad bit.
It's a Curve and it's a Blackberry so you know what you're getting and with OS7 navigation, use is exceptional. It could've benefitted from a larger processor but really, it makes little difference unless you try to run multiple downloads, e-mail and music player all at once - if you want the 1Gb processor, go for the Bold but if you want an affordable phone that does the job look no further.
In the hands (even my fat ones) this is the thinnest Blackberry Curve available yet it still feels sturdy and extremely comfortable and don't be fooled by it's skinny appearance as the battery still takes a huge pounding just like its fatter predecessor. Sure you'll need to recharge it daily if you rinse it (show me a phone that doesn't), but it'll sit there for days with light to moderate use.
For an "entry level" Blackberry you can't go wrong. You can definitely buy cheaper than Play, but they're network locked. At least with the small additional investment, you get the freedom to chop and change as you require (plus you'll normally get a cheaper SIM only tariff with better deals on minutes, texts and data use.)
I love this phone!
Quick update - I finally ordered this phone on the 7th Jan 12. It arrived before the e-mail confirming it had been posted. Damn this phone is even better than I thought and the service from Play was amazing!
Ref my first paragraph above, the keyboard is easier to use than i remembered from when i originally played with a demo version.
Play - Can you add more stars to your rating please? I may need them.