Sparrowhawk: First off it's not made for developers. It's made for consumers, and they feel it has all the features consumers need, and I have to agree with that. Given the activation method (iTunes) it'd be impossible to support multiple carriers. It has a removable SIM, but it's locked out from being used with other cards and providers, and this does suck.
The integration is what makes it only on one network at the moment. I find it horrific that it's 5 years with a slow network, and big bad monopoly provider. Expensive? Not really. The IMAP/POP3 support, full browser capability, multitouch, zooming, e-mail to phone integration, iPod functionality, contact synchronizing, and wifi make it almost worth the money. If only the 2 year contract subsidized the cost, most people would be willing to switch to AT&T. The thing killing the smartphone (It's not just a phone, mind) is the network. Going with the biggest provider isn't the best thing, just look at the Windows platform. Apple is making 50% profit on each unit, which is indeed a lot, and I think it should be down at 30-35% personally. Anyways, I'd buy it if the 8gb was $400 unlocked. Go with a Nokia N93/N95 if you can pay $250 more, you'll get access to SymbianOS S60 SDK, a browser based on the same code (WebKit), 5 megapixel camera, wifi, and HDSPA (3G) support, plus you can use any GSM carrier with it, which is unfortunately just T-Mobile and AT&T in US at the moment. If you are simple and don't care about open access to the device, go with a Helio Ocean if you want a 3G device with some of the cool features at half the price. If the N93/N95's weren't so much more expensive, I'd go with them, although I do find the integration and elegance of the iPhone inticing, although only partially convincing.
I'm an early adopter of the MacBook Pro's, which had many problems as they were the first mass production of Intel Macs, and I can say that stripped down ported OSX on ARM is bound to have megaloads of bugs. Currently, WebKit and Google Maps bugs are the ones most notable on the iPhone, although one may argue that the equally but less closed proprietary Nokia system has plenty of bugs too, especially given the extensibility of their devices. I'd wait for 2nd generation 16GB iPhones before I bought one, and I might even forgive the contract and non-subsidized cost as long as the overall cost is reduced. The network is unlimited data and the second generation iPhone has a strong possibility of using 3G HDSPA, although I believe HDSPA is highly inferior to Sprint's 3G PCS network at the moment, as you can only get HDSPA in New York and San Francisco, while 3G EVDO Rev. A was available for over a year even in the small town I lived in for 15 years. Sprint's acceptable use policy is far less restrictive anyways, just take a look at Verizon and Cingular acceptable use for their Mobile Broadband. This is the main reason I will not take it you know where from AT&T unless the eyecandy of the iPhone somehow remaps my brain just right.
As for the Treo, sorry, too buggy. I have enough experience with Palm's OS, although their devices are pretty good quality. My old iBook was reliable, and my friend's Powerbook has ran constantly for 4 years and still works, so I still have faith in Apple as far as quality goes more than Palm. My 3rd gen MacBook Pro holds up much better than the first gen, although we'll see how good it is after a year. Anyways, iPod's aside from battery issues seem to hold up, so wait for the second gen, then reconsider, but until then just ignore it.