I've been using LTE in the GTA for the last 6 months and the lower latency really does make a huge difference. However, when it comes to uploading pictures and large files, the faster uplink speed of LTE makes a big difference too. I had to upload a 335 MB file to a friend ASAP the other day, and so I tethered my laptop to get 10 Mbps transfer rate instead of the lackluster 1 Mbps I get from my cable internet connection.
Why? If you learn how Android works, wasted memory is a bad thing. It's not like Windows.
The big difference you'll notice when you move from a Gingerbread phone with 512 MB of RAM to a Gingerbread phone with 1 GB of RAM is how much faster it seems to open your apps. This is because when there is plenty of RAM free up front, the O/S can keep more apps pre-loaded and ready to run at a moment's notice.
A good example is a 3rd-party launcher. While some do offer features that TRY to keep the launcher loaded in RAM at all times, the O/S considers the launcher expendable when it isn't the foreground app. Nothing is more annoying than having your launcher screens reloaded when you exit an app (especially RAM-hungry ones like Flipboard or Draw Something, both of which can easily use up 100 MB RAM or more while they are running).
Interestingly, RAM-hungry apps continue to consume whatever amount of RAM they eventually managed to accumulate, even after they are closed, because the O/S keeps them in RAM so they'd launch more quickly next time. In the process however, it might be forced to kill other processes it had in a similar situation, and the less free RAM you have, the more likely this is to happen.
And you're right, Android is not like Windows when it comes to memory management. Windows uses virtual RAM (on the computer's hard drive) and when real RAM runs low it swaps it out to the HD. As anyone with too little RAM on a PC knows, virtual memory is no substitute for real RAM, because once data is swapped off to the hard drive it seems to take FOREVER to bring it back into RAM when you actually need it.
We used to run Windows with as little as 256 MB of RAM, but trying to do that today would result in a computer so slow that no one would want to use it. Over the years both Windows and the apps we run on it have increased in size. I've seen single tabs on Chrome consume 250 MB of RAM and when I have 10 or more tabs open at the same time the total consumption of the Chrome browser on my laptop can readily exceed 1 GB.
Don't kid yourself if you think that Android is magically immune to this ballooning of app bloat. I've personally seen Flipboard consume over 160 MB of RAM and I'm sure it would be more if I kept reading more and more things. Given just a handful of bloated apps, they could single-handedly use all of your available RAM and force the O/S to kill every non-critical process on your phone. When that happens, you'll wish your phone had 2 GB of RAM too.
I don't know baldilocks personally but can tell he is a Samsung android fan. I can see a lot of good in his posts and never any insults. Just look at his avatar, lol. That's my impression.
Anyway, after I finish this, I have to read the rest of your post because I'll be expecting ics sometime--and may decline it based on what you are saying.
Btw, is that cold weather up there good or bad for one's skin?
And as for your "borderline insults" comment? That was pretty uncalled for -- consider that a warning.