haha, I'm not sure I would call that "best discussion" but the answer is buried in that painful *****ing:
Current word in the dev circles is that the device does in fact have 8GB of internal eMMC, but has been partitioned to use a faster/more reliable configuration, called SLC, which results in a practical capacity/density of 4GB of user space, with about 1.5 GB of bloatware installed. More information on understanding eMMC accessible storage: See here - http://tjworld.net/wiki/Android/HTC/EMMC/UnderstandingUserCapacity/ More information on previous uses of SLC in HTC devices: http://forum.xda-developers.com/wiki/index.php?title=HTC_Vision#The_Missing_2GB Is this confusing for an average consumer? Yes. Is this worth complaining about? Sure, but everyone with this phone still has at least 1 week to decide they don't want it so I don't think anyone is 'owed' anything. At most you might be able to get out of the $35 activation fee, if you were charged one (and most of us with a business discount likely weren't). Did HTC and/or Verizon lie about specs? Not if the above is true. (Think of a PC manufacturer selling a business class system with 2x640GB HDDs configured in RAID 1. Does it say 2x640GB, yes, is that accurate, yes, is there 1280GB of user accessible storage, no, since RAID 1 mirrors all data 2x for increased reliability.)
Ultimately, the RAID 1 array analogy works perfectly here. If somebody sells you a RAID array with 2x640GB drives, how much usable storage will you have? Well, the answer is "It depends on how the RAID array is configured." This is the same thing with eMMC. How much storage will you have available? It depends on how it's configured. Just so happens that we get the "RAID1" configuration of eMMC for speed and reliability. They have to configure the eMMC somehow, so how should they do it? The unfortunate thing about eMMC is that once it's configured, it's not reversable (like a RAID array might be).
This is the nature of eMMC. If you buy a product with eMMC, then to determine how much storage you have available, you should ask, "How is it configured?" just like you would if you bought a RAIDed storage unit. Otherwise, you are buying a product you don't understand and you very well may be surprised by what you get.