What's up with Sprint?

Back in June, 2010, I switched over to Sprint from AT&T because I couldn't tolerate AT&T's subpar call and data performance (largely due to the iPhone 3G/3GS). The first year of service on Sprint was better than I experienced on AT&T - I could actually sustain phone calls and data over EVDO and WiMax worked.

Then the problems began.

I thought it was my Evo so I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S II Sprint Epic 4G Touch. Loved the device, but the service had noticeably deteriorated to the point where even checking in on Foursquare wasn't possible. Data struggled so much that my battery would often deplete in 5 hours of standby mode. There were evenings where I would leave around 10PM with a fully charged battery, use my phone for maybe a cumulative time of 20-30 minutes, and it would be dead by 2am. Seriously??

I've since moved on to T-Mobile's $30 web-only plan and have loved the service here in Chicago. I've been on it since late February, 2012 and it's worked extremely well. So, what exactly is Sprint's problem? Lack of spectrum? Overloaded towers? Sprint started its "network vision" initiative to improve 3G signal and dataspeeds, but it still didn't work. It still results in 100-300kbps data speeds, which is unusable for anything more than light email usage; even Google Voice struggles to send text messages with Sprint's data.

Obviously, Sprint has issues. LTE is coming, but performance appears to be lackluster. But Sprint has various companies fighting for its assets for a merger/acquisition; why is this? What appeal can Sprint have?