I noticed that the phone was getting flaky two weeks ago. Keys on its keypad didn't always register although in all other respects, it still worked fine. I was still 4 months away from being able to get a $150 discount on a new phone from Sprint, so I checked on eBay for a replacement. Interestingly, there is now a burgeoning market for Razr V3m phones on eBay -- 50 to 100 secondhand units on sale at any time. Trouble was I kept getting outbid. After losing half a dozen auctions, I changed my strategy. Instead of looking at auctions that are closing soon, I looked at the other end of the list, i.e. auctions with the most time remaining. I saw one with a low "Buy it now" price and snagged it.
I got the package yesterday afternoon. Yes, the replacement phone looks exactly the same as the one I already had. Even came with a similar number of scratches. :) First thing I did was to try to copy the contact list from the old phone to the new one. (It's not really newer because it's second-hand but it's new to me.) I already had Motorola Phone Tools on my notebook computer configured for the old phone, so I thought it would be a snap. For some reason, the software made me go through the onerous device driver installation and phone setup steps again even though the new phone is the exact same model. It didn't automatically recognize this new phone either. And finally, the software said that the contact list restore failed even though it worked.
The next step was surprisingly easy. I followed instructions at the Sprint website to activate and program the new phone. Sprint took a while to provision web services, so I left it alone until this morning before updating the phone software and installing Opera Mini. I used Opera Link to get my bookmarks back, and it was easy and almost instantaneous. I'm glad Opera Software provided that feature.
Here's something that is still a problem: The 2.x version of Google Maps Mobile doesn't work on this phone. Google has also apparently removed all the 1.x versions of GMM. Came across this discussion thread but it didn't help because those links to older jar files don't work any more. So, until the next phone upgrade, I'll try Mobile GMaps.