The power button, which also controls the screen lock/unlock is in the expected place, but easy to hit by accident, thus locking the device when not wanted. No show stopper, but irritating and due to the phone's size, a somewhat frequent occurrence.
Battery life: Appeared to be a little light during the first few days of use, but that is probably to be expected because I was really glued to the screen for hours on end, which didn't leave enough juice for a full days worth of usage. After a couple days though my usage dropped back to normal and it if sufficient. I can use the phone for 4 hours non-stop (yes, I do this sometimes) before needing to connect power.
Keyboard: there are several options available on my AT&T model, and I like the Samsung one the best, but it did take a bit to customize the spellchecker to perform *some* corrections, but not all, just enough for me to add custom words to the dictionary and not get caught too many times with a funky word that wasn't intended.
The Note function, who the heck actually uses this? It does come in handy if you just want to take a screenshot and annotate it. Two taps and you're off. I might use this once day, no more.
LTE: This is my first 4G LTE phone and the speed test when not moving (like in the car) whows 20Mb/sec down and 5Mb/sec up. Unreal. However, when in the car, I find my self reloading pages often, because the first try won't load. I wonder if this is a DNS thing. The reloads are blazingly fast,
Overall I'm loving the Note, taking into account that I have big hands, it's easily usabe with one hand and the experience is that perfect mix of tablet like screen that fits in my pocket. It's light enough not to be bothersome and doesn't slip out of my pocket when seated, except for one pair of blue jeans I have that have shallow pockets and are a bit tight:-)
I like whipping it out in company, as it becomes an instant conversation starter. Nothing like discussing your huge unti with the ladies!
Android as an OS, in this case Gingerbread, is nice and smooth on the 1.5Ghz dual core processor, just as snappy as iOS, but somehow a lot more 'fun' feeling.
I'm not ready to root it yet and load an alternative ROM, but I definitely plan on it, since the AT&T stock version comes loaded with all kinds of Gitmo apps that have full permission to access your whereabouts and personal information like contacts, and are not uninstallable. Aholes.
Other than what I've mentioned, I really can't find any drawbacks yet. I will report back again soon.
Final note, an unmissable app for this phone and any Android device imho is Wave Launcher, which gives you one-swipe access to a custom menu of apps/bookmarks/files on any screen. It's not free, but pure value for value.