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Locale works nicely, when you can get it to work. It's riddled with bugs, as are several Android programs. Apple would never have allowed such programs to crawl aboard its iPhones, but Android, like the Internet, takes pride in an amateur-hour approach to software development. That's not always a bad thing. I expect plenty of innovative programs in the years ahead for the G1, as well as upcoming Android phones from other manufacturers. But I also expect many programs won't work properly.
No surprise, really. Like every other real-life android, this one is an experiment. And it'll probably be a year or more until we know how it turns out.