What cellphone is best for me? I-Phone?

Here is the situation:

Once upon a time I had a cellphone. I only used it once or twice a week to answer pages. I drive badly enough without trying to talk while driving. I don’t have anything important enough to talk about that requires me to call or text somebody constantly. I don’t like having to answer a ringing telephone, so I only used it to return pages. However, every time I picked up the cellphone, it was either dead or got crappy service. When it died about ten years ago, I never got around to replacing it.

As a doctor, I really should be reachable on call. Currently I still have my pager and I return calls from whatever telephone I can reach. However, with a 30 minute commute each way, it really makes sense to have a cell.

My mother has decided for my birthday to drag me kicking and screaming into the 21st century. She has suggested that she purchase for me an iphone and a year of service. I am wondering if this is the best choice. The following are my needs as I see it:

-I don’t need a phone to talk all the time, but I need it to be charged and ready when I am paged and not to die on me and to get decent service.

-I don’t really need a camera although I don’t have a digital camera and it might be nice to snap pictures occasionally.

-I only have internet at work, but I can use it at will because I am the boss. It doesn’t make much sense to pay for access at home, but if it is easy to use and read it might be nice to be able to look things up.

-It would be nice to have the ability to store and play mp3s; while I rarely have the time to just sit and listen to music, I could consider one of those docking station thingies and it would be convenient on trips.

-I can’t use anything that if you charge it, and throw it in a purse, will be dead if you turn it on a week later.

So-what’s the best bet? Do I tell my mother no on the iphone? Would a regular cell suit me better? How about a blackberry? sidekick? trio? Are these things faster than dial-up? Is the internet access good wherever you are or is it really spotty? Will it be sturdy enough to survive being dropped frequently? Is it small enough to carry easily in a purse or pocket. Is it hard to dial while driving? Can you get talkdial (the one feature I actually liked about my last cell)?

I think an iphone will offer a lot of features that you don’t need, but so will most other models that are currently on the market. I’m not rally sure, but I have a vague recolllection of people complaining about reception and battery life of the first generation iphones.

I guess if these are your main concerns - which seems obvious when talking about a cellPHONE, but you’d be surprised about peoples preferences - you’d be better of with a more traditional cell that doesn’t need to power such a large screen. Also, you will be able to get these phones a lot cheaper (don’t know if that is of any concern to you)