I've owned the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt 4G since shortly after its introduction in March 2011. It's a great phone in many regards, but not without its shortfalls. You can read my original review here.
I know a number of people who are considering purchasing this phone since Verizon has lowered the price to less than $100 (watch for sales) and you can order new and refurbished Thunderbolts on Ebay, Amazon and elsewhere in case you want to activate it on 3G without a contract or committment. All in all, I think it's a great phone and would recommend it, but a buyer should always consider the features that they use the most used and how well they fit into their lives.
The one inferior feature that annoys me on the most regular basis is the camera (just slightly inching out the crappy battery). The HTC Thunderbolt camera's performance is actually pretty amazing with some features that I love. Touch focus, fast loading, easy access to a flash toggle. All good. But the fact that there is no physical key to press when you want to take a picture diminishes my love substantially.
Let's say you're one of those people who likes to pose and take shots of yourself with friends. Just flip the camera over with the lens pointing at you and click. Not so fast there Annie Leibovitz! This is a near impossibility and a real pain in the ass with the Thunderbolt. There is no physical button on the TBolt. The shoot key is only on the screen, which you obviously can't can't see with the camera flipped around.
They have provided a second camera on the front which is great for video chatting (works with the Tango app, not with the Skype app), but there is no flash and the quality of the image is much less than the main camera on the other side.
So, If you happen to run into, say, Scarlett Johansson and you ask her if you can take a quick photo with her, you'll probably screw it up and/or piss her off.
But, if egotistical picture taking isn't something important to you when it comes to selecting a Smartphone, then the HTC Thunderbolt might be a good choice at Verizon's lower price or one of the other options out there.
NOTE: If you're new to Smartphones and want to take the plunge into the future without a major investment or long-term contract, you can purchase your phone anywhere (like Ebay or Amazon.com), and get it activated through Kitty Wireless (on the highly rated Page Plus program) for as little as $29.95 per month and get 1,200 talk minutes, 3,000 text minutes and 100 megabytes of data transfer. Great place to start.