<a href="/photos/iphone.jpg"><img src="/photos/iphone.jpg" border="1" alt="iPhone" width="512" height="384"></a>

If you wanted an iPhone this weekend, you could have waited on line for three days, like some of the folks who made it into national newspapers, or you could have done what I did: roll into the Apple Soho store just after it opened at 9:30 Saturday morning, gotten on a very short line at the register, and walked out with one in roughly four minutes.

So far, it’s pretty terrific. The learning curve is short and the pleasures of the UI are long. Free wifi is easy to find in the city, so I the major shortcoming cited in early reviews (AT&T’s slow EDGE data network) has not been a factor. And I can sheepishly report that the iPhone withstands a three-foot drop onto concrete without any damage to the system or the beautiful display, although my day-old gadget is nicely scruffed.

Also: the iPhone comes in a dedicated <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19348052@N00/667385521">iPhone bag</a>. Carrying this bag around Manhattan turns a person into a temporary rock star. The buzz around this device is truly astounding.