Who do you plan on buying the phone from, i.e. which carrier? What other models do they have available? If they have the 9700, I think that you'll be happier with that, as it doesn't have a trackball, but rather a trackpad. Not to mention that the hardware is beefed up a bit. I have a 9630 (Tour), which has the trackball and similar hardware to the 9700. It hangs up on occasion, but nothing really noteworthy. The trackball is an issue on it, as it seems to have lost its ability to "click" to a degree.
Use the drop downs to search subjects. The concept of a icon based menu system is the same. I can walk you through almost anything on it. It WILL take time about a week of playing with it to get used to it, don't get frustrated. (I see this everyday at work)
Start with the basics. set up your email.
learn what icon does what (such as profiles change ringing settings ),
the blackberry (freckle button) opens different options you can also hide icons by pushing freckle and (alt+middle button) as well as move things from other icons into the mail screen.
Holding the # key puts the phone into vibrate
blackberry messenger is a cool im type program that as long as you have a data plan can send instant messages,files,voice notes, to other blackberry users off the ATT network
I could go on and on but reply with any questions I will help...