I tend to think that on the 1st gen chassis, build quality varies from on device to another. Like for example, some people have had launch day Pre-'s that have been flawless, while others have gone through five or ten refurbs before finding one that's "just right".
Originally Posted by alanmorford
My Pre+ came with a perfectly tight slider, but keyboard issues (double characters) manifested themselves in the first month of use. My mother's, bought on the same day at the same store, already had a fairly loose slider right out of the box, but flawless keyboard. The vibrate tone also sounds very different between the two, one is loud and jarring, the other is softer. It comes down to the fact that they are all assembled by hand.
Since i'm going to build the "Franken" by hand anyway, and it will be a far more involved process than just swapping the comm board, i should have more control over quality. Swapping the screen requires total disassembly, so that will give me a chance to tune the slider mechanism and possibly wrap a screen protector around the edges of the screen to prevent premature peeling. The keyboard will come from the Pre2, since the stutter problem had been mostly solved by that point, mainboard and camera from the Pre2 and commboard from the Pre+.
To answer your question, i'd have no problem with someday owning a GSM Pre3 as a developer device, one that will never leave my desk. However for daily use, it's just not very practical. It has less usable RAM than a Pre+, while i tend to have many cards open (12+) and prefer to only reboot once a month. It also has a glass screen, with no option to swap it out for plastic.
This may sound strange when almost every phone sold today uses glass, but if you consider that my previous DD phone had a stainless steel shell and a leather case on at all times, you'll see why i have certain expectations for a phone. The Pre+ has been more fragile in comparison but held up well to many drops on hardwood and tile. A Veer would have been fine being smaller. But a Pre3 is just too big to last.
Hardware failure rate and relatively expensive batteries also count against it, but i have already made up my mind even before that
To sum it up, i'll keep using the FrankenPre until CDMA is phased out. It fits in my hand, fits in my pocket, is durable enough to keep and cheap enough to repair. WebOS forever