So after having used the Backflip for a while now I can offer some insights.
Firstly I have had to reset it to factory default and re-install everything. The reason was simple - the damn phone was resetting at random intervals and when I need to make a call... an urgent call to Police, the bastard thing wouldn't work and reset twice before I was able to get through. Completely unacceptable and I was ready to throw it out the bloody window and stamp on it. After recovering from my hissy fit, I reset it on advice from my local Optus dealer and re-installed some of the applications. One of the most commonly installed apps - Advanced Task Killer lite - was causing all of the grief. I paid for it and have had no problems since then so I'm happier.
I've played with lots of widgets and things and found that once the phone's uptime reaches about 400 hours, it needs a reset. If you aren't making a lot of changes it's settled and you can leave it for longer without any problems. Current uptime on my phone is 450 hours plus. Battery life can be affected by some of the crap you install on it, so be wary about what you do install and what you've got enabled on it. I found with bluetooth and wifi enabled the battery lasted about a day. Without those two added I got 3 days out of it which is quite acceptable (especially with the number of calls I made during those days). GPS also seems to impact battery life significantly.
Generally I've found the phone functions to be good, texting to be acceptable and email to be acceptable. The Gmail sync has been very good so that's all very nice. The touch screen is quite good and the keyboard is also pretty good although I find the tactile response from it somewhat lacking at times. I wouldn't want to write an essay on it for example. I've been using the "Beautiful Widgets" set and find the weather is excellent. I've also got various other things running like System Info and System Panel. I don't mind spending a little bit on these things and find the application support better on the Backflip than on my iPhone 3GS. Performance on both is much the same.
I really like Android though. There is something about the interface options, the many applications and the performance with such moderate specs that appeals to me. I find the Apple way to be a more difficult way to understand and since upgrading (forced to) to iOS 4, my iPhone is slower and has demonstrated more problems. It won't unlock at times which I find exceedingly frustrating. In conclusion, I am now much happier with my Backflip than I was - trial and error getting the right software has become an interesting exercise rather than a frustrating one.