I suggest that you try the 8800 keyboard out for 5 to 10 minutes minimum. I used a BB in the past (a 72??) but haven't used one for about a year. So I tried out two different working 8800's in a store (not a demo model, for heaven's sake!).

The first one had an awful keyboard and I thought, this is impossible to use; as it turns out, that one was semi-broken as the keys wouldn't depress much. I only found that out when I tried the second time on a different 8800 in a different store.

For about 3 - 5 minutes I thought: hmmm... typing's not too easy, but the keys feel great. Then, after a few minutes, I discovered I was typing fairly fluidly with minimal mistakes, and this for someone that hasn't BB'd for a year or so. The keys are closer together, but that doesn't mean it's worse. Definitely try it out, as I was very surprised at the results I was getting once I typed away for a while. Those ridges on the keys help, for example, and the tighter spacing may mean quicker typing in the end, but I won't know until mine's delivered (soon, please T-Mobile?! ). The keyboard was going to be the dealbreaker for me, and I'm now confident it will work for me, so that's my take.