I got mine with that .01 sale through Amazon... I kind of wish I did a little more research and gotten a Photon for $50. Mainly for the dual core processor and longer (larger) battery life. I was sold on the shift for 3 things, QWERTY keyboard, FM Radio & HTC's experience with Android (GF had a G1 when they first came out). The biggest reason for me was the physical keyboard, I had developed a very negative opinion about on screen keyboards from my iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire friends frustrations with predictive text and fat finger phenomenon.
There are other more human elements I have come to enjoy about my Shift. Such as the size, I happened into a radio shack that had a Photon on the display rack and +0.4"w x +0.5h" x -0.13" is a bigger difference than the numbers let on. The screen looked huge and quite lovely, but holding the Motorola in my hand with its relatively thin frame and side button locations made finding ways to hold and use it awkward. With the depth of the Shift it sits well in your hand and the volume control buttons being the only side button lets you find a comfortable way to hold it. I also like the weight of the Shift, it doesn't disappear in my pockets and that helps me keep it safe from harm. At first I was a little put off by the lack of a spring assisted slide, but then agreed with nearly everyone else here that simpler was indeed better in this regard. Best part about a slider phone... I can put a property tag on the backside of the display allowing me to take it into my workplace without some garish chrome sticker glaring at me whenever I'm away from work.
Now some things I do notice that make me regret it. Power, I get maybe 4 - 8hrs out of my battery. I take it off the charger, use it to listen to FM (8hrs) or Streaming Radio(4hrs) for about 4 hours and get it home where it needs to charge. Processing, 800mhz single threaded... now the guys here have done wonderful things with their roms to allow the cpu to hit 1,200mhz but that gets the phone cooking hot as well. It also doesn't get around the fact that it is just a single core when most Android devices now are sporting two, you feel it going between applications. Bouncing between things on a Kindle Fire feels much more responsive with less load times than the Shift. 4G, maybe its my area (PDX) but this phone does not hold onto 4G at all. I've tried it downtown I've tried in the west hills, works great if I don't move but its not something I can leave on (and really you don't want to as battery consumption increases) and expect to still be connected when I pull the phone back out to check on what I told it to do with the 4G. These are not deal breaking issues, for me they really reinforce the devices role as a phone and portable information device; It won't be replacing my desktop, maybe a laptop if I got a bluetooth full size keyboard.
It does a little bit of everything, kinda like me.