Thanks for the feedback, great to hear. I wish I could get me one of those over here in the states.
Most of your issues have already been addressed but a couple of things of note are.
the phone is great as is, Its awesome with the patches and features offered by preware, everyone involved with that is amazing. Install that and look through the patches and apps regularly. Its sorted well so you can look for things by category or date. there are a lot of customizations without preware in the respective apps instead of a main setting app, but with preware it really opens up your options. I would really recommend advanced configuration for system preferences, advanced configuration for app launcher, and Device menu maxed out ultra, in that order if/when they become available for the pre3.
The phone sync's to nearly everything automatically, including profile pics from facebook google, watever. So the first couple of times in contacts will be slow as these cache. contacts is buttery smooth on my sprint pre plus. i do have it overclocked but your phone should still be faster. besides I never go into contacts with just type, just pop open the keyboard and type 2 letters and tap. here's a tip many people don't know. you can just type the initials of the contact you are looking for and it will bring it up in just type.
the form factor may not suit all, works great for me, but I never never use the usb port. The touchstone is an amazing thing and really helps set it apart from other phones. once you have it, it's hard to believe people fiddle with a cable to charge their phones. you can find them cheap all over now so pick up a few like i did so you can have next to your bed, on your desk, at work, all over the place.
the alarms I was disappointed with as well, especially since my palm treo was better. but there is a patch that will let you set daily alarms and another that will let you do 1 minute intervals, look for that really made a world of difference, although it seems to forget all my alarms after a while and I haven't figured out what causes it.
The alarm notification as will all notifications are awesome if you don't want to see it anymore just swipe it off the screen, haven't seen a more elegant or simple way to handle notifications on anything yet.
Messaging is great I love how it is combined, threaded and sorted by date. that's just me but I think its perfect. would be nice to be able to save them and there is with save/restore app. just doesn't save it with attachments you gotta copy over the attachment folder manually. Save/restore should be a bundled app, great to have if you ever need to swap phones or full erase because your profile will sync the apps but not the data associated with them. I.e. angry bird progress lol.
Facebook app is simple and works for me but I have had the same issues with invite comments and crap I block on the main site. the nice thing though is that you can go to the full site and everything works there.
The app catalog has all the sorting/ filtering options to find anything you want. IT may just be that there isn't as many apps available, especially for your new pre3 and your country.
I have google maps and it works great, just takes forever to load. I hate anything bing so I can see why you don't like it. with preware you should easily be able to get google maps installed, if its not in the apps there is probably a site you can download it from, may be a little more advanced to do than you might like.