The best and worst of the HTC Hero
BEST: The trackball. Sometimes the type size in a link you want to click on is so small you can't reliably use your finger on the touchscreen with any accuracy. It's also great for navigating on the phone, but not all apps allow this universally for each screen.
Every smart phone should have one.
WORST: Accidental button activations, and lack of touch sensitivity near the screen edges. Several times I've mistakenly started a phone call.
Depending on the app, when you use the touchscreen you have to keep in mind you'll get no response near the edges. Walt Mossberg mentioned that he had trouble with the touch sensitivity of the Hero he reviewed. I'm guessing this might be what he encountered.
Minor complaints include the camera which will show banding and color artifacts, slowness, especially with the browser, and the volume rocker switch which you can't help but activate when you use the phone in landscape orientation.
The virtual keypad works well, but I think I can type faster with a physical one. The processor in this phone is kind out outdated, and it would worth checking out the newer phones with faster processors.
But really, I have to say that this is an amazing smart phone, but in the current climate competitors are being released at a fast pace. I would suspect that during the next year we'll see phones that will be vastly improved. The idea of keeping the same phone for over a year might not be appealing.