@JOB: Hmm.... Actually, I see user ptoblem. From your long story, if you need the dialer / SMS function so badly, move them to the top. In that way, you will see them staring at you whenever you go back to the Home screen. And also, why in the world do we need to display the Dialer and SMS button everywhere we navigate?! If I need to make a phone call, or SMS to a friend, I will then navigate to the Home screen. Why cluttered the screen with useless buttons?!
Regarding the blank area on the Home screen, MS will utilities the area when there are needs in the future. Just like they have added the search button on the app list screen.
As for the jump list, enter few now letters in order to filter more. Just like how you use search engines. Do you just enter a letter in order to search for the contents you looking for?
Lastly, Live tile. Yes, iPhone has a number stating how many messages or emails you having. A Count. And that's it! Just a count! But if u look at the demo, the flight tiles let the user know when is the flight time, are you being late and highlighted with red. That will provide the end user more information! Does iOS icons do that?! The only controls that come close with Live tiles are Android widgets. iOS can step aside with its ugly tiny icons.
So, bottom line is: If you are so disappointed with WP7, sell your phone away and get an iCommonPhone or the Windows-Mobile-Wannabe aka Android. No point forcing yourself sticking with a phone which you do not enjoy everyday. It will affect your health.