After 5 1/2 years, I have retired my Kyocera Palm SmartPhone. Sitting on my desk in it's docking cradle is my new Samsung i730. If you look closely at the screenshot, you'll see its running Windows Mobile 5.0. The upgrade went flawlessly -- although I'm working with a brand new phone with no data on it and no additional 3rd party apps installed.
The upgrade is available directly from Verizon, so I assume they'll provide support for any issues you may have. But like I said, mine went without a hitch (almost -- see below).
The updated of the ROM took about 7 - 8 minutes between transmitting the image and reflashing of the ROM. After the flashing was complete the Verizon update utility told me the upgrade was a success and that the device would reset after performing some "reformat" operation. I would have liked to have known that this "reformat" option can take a while. After almost 2 minutes I was getting nervous, but it did indeed reboot and my i730 booted up running Windows Mobile 5.0.
The one "gotcha" I've experienced (and this is a common problem that doesn't seem to have a definitive remedy) is that sync'ing now requires some configuration of your firewall (if you're using one -- and you should be!). I've tried all sorts of permutations and port openings to get my AVG Firewall to let ActiveSync work, but to no avail. If I turn off the firewall, ActiveSync works just fine. With the firewall on, ActiveSync just spins it's little green icon trying to connect and never returns. Now I've been sync'ing my iPAQ on this machine for close to 4 years and never had to tweak anything. Something changed once my machine installed drivers for the "new Windows Mobile device" it found after the i730 rebooted.
I've given full access to all of the ActiveSync apps (rapimgr.exe, wcescomm.exe and WCESMgr.exe). Heck, I even threw in CEAPPMGR.EXE and dbexport.exe just for kicks. No go. I can't figure out which rule is stopping the connection. For now, I can disable the firewall and sync, but this is not an optimal long-term solution. I just need to mess around with it some more. If anyone has any ideas, don't hesitate to drop me a comment. From doing some research, a lot of people are having this problem.