I received a n900 last week and it is several levels of awesome.
I do not really consider myself a gadget geek. My wife might disagree with that assertion due to all the devices littered around the house. However, my previous cell phone was almost ten years old. Thats right, I bought my last phone at the turn of the century. I would say that fact alone removes me from the gadget geek school.
That ancient phone and the n810 were a really nice combination. I could access the net via DUN over bluetooth (http, ssh, etc..) and make phone calls. I wanted to merge the two devices and I knew the n900 would do that. That ability alone made the n900 worth waiting almost a year for. (That was when I started getting sick of having two devices.)
While the n900 is a spectacular device it definitely is not the shiniest. Google and Apple have that covered. With that in mind I keep getting asked why spend more for less? Why not just get a droid or iphone with access to all the apps, multi-touch, etc.. etc..
You will never see that on the n900. Not because the devs at nokia are security geniuses, nor because the maemo community lacks hackers. That post will never be needed for the simple reason that there is a rootsh in the apps repository. Yes, that is right. My phone comes with immediate and easy access to root.
I am definitely NOT a linux geek, nor an adept hacker. I will probably never use rootsh, but other people will and I can benefit from their efforts. As I discovered with the n810 there will eventually be a need to get access to root. And when some hacker creates /sbin/butterfly they will do it without having to bit twiddle the boot loader.
The n900 is a great compromise between the draconian iphone and the loose freerunner. It has its binary drivers and inaccessible hardware (you probably can’t hack the wifi or cell radio easily.), but offers an open debian based linux distro.
One last point that probably needs yet another post, while the droid is open-ish when compared to the iphone, it is still just another way for google to get ads in front of you. While this is not inherently bad, I am not comfortable paying someone so they can market to me.