I finally got my Crackberry back. I am relatively happy now, though there are minor glitches which are probably due to my converting it from a Sprint Blackberry Curve to a Metro PCS one. The biggest problem I have is that I can't seem to download the applications needed connect it to my Gmail account and I have to access the web to get to my email.
By my calculations, it has to hold up for 9 months for me to break even. I'm not worried about that: This thing seems to be highly durable. I already dropped it from shoulder height to a tiled floor and it didn't even get a nick. Of course I am a notorious klutz...
The shady operation that performed the transfer tried to ding me for another $25 on top of their original $75 charge because it was somehow more difficult to do than they originally anticipated. After I threw a total fit in their lobby in front of three other potential customers, they let it go for $75.
Overall, I spent $275 in lieu of the $400 that Metro PCS would have charged. Some might sneer at a savings of $125, but it's still a savings and I'm happy.