I really like my Photon. I use it's GPS all the time, and it is really quite accurate. I don't know of any phones where the GPS works in airplane mode though.
I got my Photon at a Sams Club for 97 cents with 2 year contract around last Christmas. I have found that getting phones through Sams Club is much cheaper than going directly from Sprint, and sprint doesn't even offer the Photon 4g anymore. Possibly due to the fact that it can't do LTE, just WiMax. So if you are looking for a phone you can do LTE on, you probably shouldn't get the Photon. No LTE doesn't bother me at all since I almost always have wifi available.