I can confirm I had the "Pre crashing on slider close, pressing power button reboots phone" issue as well.
Bought two Pre's Saturday morning for my wife and myself. My phone was/is totally fine, her's crashed about 12 times on Saturday during normal use (closing slider). Did full erase twice, still crashed. Called Palm, they said it was a hardware issue and to get it replaced. Went back to the Sprint store this morning and swapped it out for a new one, all is well with her phone now.
I didn't see this thread until today, so I didn't get to try any of the battery solutions in this thread.
There were still a few phones left in my area, for which I'm thankful. The Pre was a bday present for her and she was bummed it was flawed. I feel for those of you who have to wait for replacements. I hope this isn't a widespread issue, this is not the kind of problem Palm needs right now with an otherwise amazing device with a ton of potential.