Shane, I have to admit that I laughed out loud when you said you've "been blinded by fanboy rage before", implying that you understand the "apple cult" mentality but are at present not subject to such whims. But the thing is, I think that you're having the exact same religious experience with the Android OS and its phones. Where are your critiques of Ice Cream Sandwich? Like how fairly gimmicky and useless the feature is with unlocking the phone using your face (which has to take longer than actually entering it in yourself) or the fact that they spent so much of the presentation talking about fonts? Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to the evolution that ICS will be for Android on my Transformer, but was there really that much to get excited about? Can you at least admit that you drink Kool-Aid too, but that it is just a different flavor?
I've had my iPhone 4s for a few weeks now and I love it. The notifications are fine (I don't understand your gripes with the IOS notifications), the phone does not need to be held a certain way to make/keep phone calls, and my wife who has zero prior experience with any Apple product requiring touch has instantly fallen in love with all the phone can do (which isn't hard considering we came from flip phones). If anything, we were very late to adopt any kind of smartphone, much less Apple products. The 4s is our first smartphone.
User experience and build quality, those are two huge areas where I think Apple just does things far more elegantly than the competition. It's not like Apple is peddling plastic phones where the light bleeds out everywhere and sheeple are gobbling them up because they are "cool". Apple makes nice stuff, from the inside to the outside. They take pride in design. I'm definitely willing to pay more for a product that looks like someone took pride in making, not one that is in a cheap plastic casing or has a plastic feel to it. It shines through in the OS too. Based on my experience with Honeycomb vs. my experience with IOS 5, I can't say that Honeycomb comes close to IOS 5. We'll see what ICS has in store.
You can swing on both sides of the plate, you can appreciate the closed AND open experience. It's about loving tech, ANY kind of tech, regardless of who makes it, just because that's our hobby. You can be objective about this. The price of not being objective is that you risk losing credibility when it comes to being able to talk about both sides honestly. Labeling everyone with an iPhone as a moron is not insulting, but rather speaks to your own limitations with being able to expertly address the "android vs. apple" topic with integrity.