Just wanted to report that I was able to update to the Gingerbread (Android 2.3.3) update using the steps outlined in this thread.
I did seem to receive a couple of errors similar to these:
E:Can't open /cache/recovery/command
E:Can't open /cache/recovery/caller
But the process seemed to complete normally.
I agree with other posters that I prefer the black background with white text over the newer dark text on light background. If anyone can recommend a way to change this back - that would be welcome.
So far everything and all my apps seem to be working well. I notice slight improvement in responsiveness.
My phone is not rooted by the way.
Battery performance over Froyo (Android 2.2) is not clear yet, I purchased the extended battery and have gotten into the habit of charging all the time so I have not been able to gauge battery performance yet.
The only side effect is that the backlight on my keyboard was not initially working. After searching around a bit I saw someone suggest to turn off the automatic brightness in Settings->Display. This seems to have solved the issue and the keyboard backlight is working again. Even when i turned auto brightness back on, it seems to be working normally - so maybe it was a settings stuck in the wrong state...
Overall, this went pretty smoothly and I am impressed that all my settings and even my Folders, animated background and Launcher Pro add-ons continued to work normally as they did before.
Can someone shed some light on how this update came to be and any theories on why Verizon has not pushed it out over the air?
thanks all for the step by step instructions.