Disencourage me! LG Optimus Black
I am about to finish my horrible relationship with Samsung Galaxy i5700 (also called Spica, Portal, Lite) it turned out to have plenty of kind-of hidden flaws etc. Also Samsung's programmers are terrible at what they do, wait, actually they're perfect at what they do, they screw up quite good hardware with their coding just fine.
But since I'm quite educated I am about to make my trip with Android a journey.
Basically what I've noticed is that you need an ARMv7 cpu cause it's the first architecture designed specifically for smartphones which makes it at least twice as fast as ARMv6 clock-to-clock + plenty of app developers (specially more complicated ones) don't care about ARMv6 support, primary examples being Adobe's Flash, Mozilla's Mobile Firefox (or was it Fennec?) most 3D heavy games. Thus I began my search for cheapest ARMv7 phone.
It is actually the Motorola Flipout and I kinda like it but I flipped it out as soon as I've noticed there's no way for it to make it past 2.1.
So I should be going also for something with current Android version & possibly CM support.
And this way I've shrunk my circle of possibilities to Motorola Droid (OG) or Defy. But they are old, so somehow I bumped across LG Optimus Black and honestly, for the price ~250-280 USD (in Poland) I can't find any flaws in this device. LG's 2.3 update hits the web this month officially. CM support has just started with Nightly Builds.
The funniest thing is it costs as much as droid/defy though it has newer, updated 45nm TI OMAP 3630 (very close if not as fast as Apple's A4, much faster than 3430), more RAM, more ROM, better screen, front facing camera, gosh, why is it so cheap? And reviews around the web say the build quality is superb and even though materials are all plastic, it's all good plastic. Plus the front design is great, same distance from screen edges to case edge, landscape and portrait wise (very iPhonish), even the LG logo is "designed", most of the time it is big bright and flashy so that you know immediately who made it, here it's so dark it's barely visible just so Optimus Black is Black all the way.
As you can clearly see I am falling in love with that device before I even touched it, if you had any kind of bad experience with it, please hit me with a frying pan full of your pain ASAP!
Here a comparison with Droid, Defy and iPhone 4 (for the lulz)
Alternatives in that price range (250-300 USD) are welcome, just remember: ARMv7 and some OS updates.