Let me start by saying I loved my blackberry pearl. Through chance I was given a 1st gen iphone. It was either use it myself or give it to my 14 year old. No way was she going to have one at that age, so I took it. I don't like proprietary stuff but tried to keep an open mind even though I was a crackberry addict.
It took me a while but I have to admit, I can't live without my iphone now, I love that darned thing! LOL. I sync it with my google calendars (each family member has a calendar I can see), access my fav news sites, facebook, etc. I also have a flashcard app on it (syncs with lists I get or put online) for studying terms. I have medscape on it that keeps track of my hubby's meds (and lets me know of any contraindications if the Dr wants to try something new). Oh and I just discovered itunes university - its fantastic. I just downloaded some algebra video lessons for free and was watching them while waiting on an appointment. I also watched youtube nursing tip vids while I was eating lunch by myself in the mall (I carry headphones with me). Oh yeah, its also an ipod, so I can listen to my tunes or and audiobook when I want.
I just applied to a NS BSN program so don't know what I am going to need for programs yet. But, I will certainly load it up before school. If I can't take the iphone into clinicals, then I will get an itouch, I like the format that much. When I got my blackberry I initially cringed at the monthly cost, but darn it, its SO worth it. I have access to anything I need, and I have done MANY searches while away from my computer.
BTW - I couldn't find my phone a couple of weeks ago and panicked. My hubby saw how freaked out I was and told me to go buy another one (I was due for an upgrade anyway and he saw how I drooled over his new 2nd gen), which I did. I now have a 30 gig 3GS in a bright red case - so I can find it. I eventually found the old one (when the alarm went off) and gave it to my daughter to use as an ipod. Even without the data plan, it gets good use (she can download games and still use it as a ipod)
I can't recommend the iphone highly enough - I was a skeptic and DID NOT want to like this thing. But, I can't live without it now and I'm looking forward to loading it up with nursing books and tools. Good luck with your decision.