Ok my last post was a bit emotional, sort of a baby and the bathwater type of thing. Turns out the real source of my frustration was the slow and buggy version of the Android OS that Samsung saddled my otherwise fantastic phone with. Shortly after posting my last rant I decided to try one of the various custom ROMs available for my phone.
All I can say is - wow!
Loading these community developed ROMs has given my phone a new lease on life. It's faster, more reliable with features that don't come on the stock operating system. It's clear that the devs at Samsung could learn a lot about developing reliable smartphone software from folks who just do it for a hobby.