You are right to be wary. There is much bullcrap. Be wary of me too, because I may be wrong. Make up your own mind after you evaluate all the evidence and the logic. - Mark Rippetoe
I think I've used the keyboard 3 or 4 times since launch day. Other than holding X to get into recovery.
I wish they'd make a version without the keyboard, exact same otherwise but no keyboard.
Like everyone else I rarely ever use it for actual typing, I do use it a lot though via my game gripper when I'm playing roms. The only time I use it for actual typing is in the terminal (i bought better terminal emulator pro which provides a soft keyboard but it takes up half of the screen when open) or when the soft keyboard decides to bug out on me for some reason.
How To: Compiling a Custom Version of Clockwork Mod Recovery
ROM: Incredibly Re-Engineered v2.3
I can't believe people don't use it. I don't have small hands but I use it 99% of the time. I hate using the on-screen. Plus swype pisses me off when I'm using it with one hand, it enters the wrong word and I have to go fix it
Anyone who doesn't use their physical keyboard is just a former apple fanboy. No matter how good you could possibly get with the digital keyboard, the physical keyboard will win in both speed and accuracy every single time. Swype may change that as far as speed (I've only tried the generic version of swype that's free in the market) but it will never trump the physical KB's accuracy. Even with the crappiest physical keyboard on modern day smartphones, the Droid's keyboard still trumps any digital keyboard and it's not even CLOSE.
when i first got my droid i always use the physical key board, quite often opening up the keyboard was how i woke up the phone. then i bought a case and the keyboard has more friction to open so i stopped using it more and more now i don't use it at all. my NY GIANTS customized htc keyboard helps.