I think you a little harsh on this phone. This phone isn't designed for the phone techies, or even mid-range users. This is the phone that Metro put on its network for the parents of teenagers everywhere who don't want to blow more than $100 on a phone.
It's got a touch screen, mobile browser, and music player. The youth market doesn't care about useless things like call quality.
As far as your experience with browsing on 1x, I think there may be slow rendering on this device. I use it on my Optimus M and it's relatively fast considering.