I can relate to what you are saying, you are frustrated with the device, the problem is the manufacturer didn't design it just for you. If at least half of the market was concerned and complaining about these features, they would implement the changes in their next design.
It might be nice to have a dedicated button to swap back and forth, but it doesn't impede my ability to function with the phone nor does it seem to be a factor for most people who purchase this phone. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but you were aware of the design to start with.
Did you consider they designed it that way on purpose?
I think a major part of this design, and this is just circumspect on my own part, is to prevent people from attempting to access these feature while driving.
I'm not being a fanboy or an iPhone hater, I just think the phone was designed exactly how they wanted it to be and if they find consumers aren't happy with it on a majority basis, they will make a change in the future.
Complaining to us isn't going to change what they did. You need to address your concerns to the proper people.
I would suggest getting some sort of petition together to forward to the company stating your point of view and explaining to them why you think it was bad design.
You can't justly say to us, "Hey these are major design flaws". The phone was shipped how they designed it, so this must be the way they intended for it to work. If that wasn't their ultimate intent, they were obviously pleased enough with it to let it go to market.
As with any major purchase I researched the product and was aware of it's features. The list of short comings was small because I bought it so early on, but I was prepared and aware of the major problems and I chose to purchase the Droid in spite of these short comings because I was okay with that trade off. If this was a dealer breaker you should have more thoroughly considered your options.
I do see you did take some time to weigh pros and cons with Palm and you decided those features were too much of a draw back to go with that company/phone, so why now are you upset because of the decision you've made to get the features you obviously valued more at the loss of other features? Maybe the smaller screen really is more important for the physical key than a bigger screen with no physical key?
I have no solutions to your 'problems' with a hard key set because I've never found these to be a major problem to begin with, but I hope there is some solution you can come to that will help you out. Whether that be an app or to exchange the phone for another device.
On a side note: it's very interesting to me that on their website, Motorola lists the calling features as the last set of features.
(1) The ringer goes to vibrate without telling me.
(2) It's night time and it's difficult to get back to the phone application because there isn't really a hot button to say "Yo!!! Droid!!! It's night time and my face isn't blocking the light sensor!"
(3) I will frequently find that the phone doesn't really hang up. The call will still linger and I'll notice 5 minutes later that the call is still connected.
I've personally never experienced any of these problems, have you considered you might have a defective device to start with?
It just seems like you have a mixed bag of things going on here.
By chance have you rooted your phone? If so are you running a custom ROM? If that is the case, maybe removing the ROM and root might help address those issues. If you haven't done so, possibly return the device to the store, explain the problem and maybe you can get another one.
I've read your post and your response and you've had some positive responses on how the phone works, but that isn't good enough and you want to continue to be upset about the design... it really just seems like you want to *****, just to *****.