OT: sprint newsgroup/forum?

Way OT, but on newsguy there is only one sprint NG and it appears to be abandoned by the spambots. Are there any forums that aren't controlled by sprint where people actually have discussions?
Reason I'm asking is I'm considering finally drinking the kool-aid and buying a smart phone but am not finding any indication online as to which stores allow you to try the phones before you buy. I seem to have a problem with the max voice volume being too low on pretty much any non-Motorola phone, and don't want to make an expensive mistake. Only way I see to find this info is to call each store individually (or drive to each one, but that could get expensive.)
It's a shame that the stores I've visited suck so bad... was in a Verizon store with a friend recently and pretty much every phone on display was activated so you could try it out. too bad Verizon sucks so much balls in actual post-sale service. I've been quite happy with Sprint for years but their stores are pathetic, at least around here.
nate
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On 3/26/2011 11:01 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

No particular love for VZW because I buy service based on good coverage but I had an issue this morning and called *611 and the first tier person realized it was a second tier support issue and she didn't waste my time and quickly connected me to a polite and knowledgeable US based person who solved the issue. I can say the same for the last time I called which was probably two years ago.
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On 03/26/2011 11:58 AM, George wrote:

I have had serious issues with every single land line I've had with Verizon, dating from about 1999ish through maybe 2006 when I finally said "enough" and got a cable modem and ditched the land line altogether. The last land line simply didn't work reliably, the icing was when they cancelled a service call that I'd taken off work for because "nobody answered the phone when we called to confirm the appointment." Also, their rude/insulting to helpful CSR ratio was alarmingly high.
They seem to be popular for mobile use here (DC metro area) but on principle I'm not paying for anything under the Verizon umbrella unless I have no other choice.
nate
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On 3/26/2011 12:07 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

I doubt anyone would argue with you about Verizon. Verizon wireless is a totally separate company owned by Verizon and Vodaphone.

I buy based on coverage and what I know about the quality of their network infrastructure.

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On 3/26/2011 11:01 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

engines. If you visit a true sprint store, not the ones in the kiosks, they will power them up and let you try them out. I found when recently bit the bullet and got a smart phone that most of the samsung and htc phones and very adjutable and clear audio.
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On 03/26/2011 01:00 PM, Roger wrote:

that's good to know, although my last work phone was a Samsung and was an awful POS. I don't hold it against Samsung in general though because it also looked like something that would be in a blister pack by the cash register of a 7-11 :)
Problem I'm having is finding a "real Sprint store." The store locator isn't helpful; the one I walked out of the other day had all the boxes checked and was listed as a "ReadyNow" store, but it was little better than a kiosk and none of the phones were powered up or activated (all had the little "fake display" stickers on them, so pretty much all you could do was pick them up and heft them.)
I do know that real stores exist as there was one near where I lived about 6 years ago, but I don't live anywhere near where I did the last time I actually had to patronize one...
nate
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On 03/26/2011 01:08 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

Well 3rd time is the charm. Went to another store yesterday and it wasn't any bigger than the first two, and they didn't have the displays powered up, but the staff was very friendly and helpful and literally all of them were using the same phone that I was interested in buying, and one of them let me borrow his to make a call so that I could test it out. So now I am a little bit poorer but am the envy of my iPhone owning friends due to my superior telecommunications technology :)
nate
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On 03/27/2011 08:08 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

oh hell yeah there is a Usenet app for Android. Not only does that make quite a bit of sense since by nature a mobile is more bandwidth limited than is a laptop connected to a broadband connection (usenet is back?) but now I can annoy you all much more frequently :)
nate
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....and while driving!
nb
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On 3/27/2011 8:08 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

a starting point.
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The phone is an HTC Evo 4G, and I've also successfully used a Plantronics bluetooth headset with it (don't know model, it's in my car.) The store was in Leesburg, VA.
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