I get the phone back, and think "ok cool, let's restore the backups and get all my stuff back on it". Nope, you can't do that. Backups can only be restored to the same phone they were made from. Basically defeats the purpose of a backup, but whatever. Ok, let's reinstall all our apps. Open Zune... oh wait, they removed apps from that. Have to use the web marketplace. Head off to the web marketplace... no list of purchased apps, got to search for them from memory. Hmm. Off to the "My Phone" section of WindowsPhone.com. Find the purchase history, cool. Click on "Reinstall" beside one of them. "Can't buy apps from here" it says. Huh? Oh, I see... it's logged me into the US My Account, instead of the NZ My Account, so it's complaining that it can't verify whether I bought the app. Sigh. Change the URL manually to be en-NZ. Now I get a confirmation screen instead. Click "Reinstall" on the confirmation... Processing... check Downloads on phone, nothing. Up pops a new web page on the desktop... "Sent a message to your phone but didn't receive a response". Message? Oh, I see it's trying to send me a text message, and the My Account system doesn't know my number. Fine. Fix that up, and try again. Success! App starts downloading. Total time spent getting to this point: about 35 minutes. On to the next app... "sorry, we can't send the app to your phone right now, we're sending you instructions to <my email> to install it later. Make sure to open the email on your phone!" Ok, check email... nothing. No instructions, no link, just... nothing.
Seriously, worst experience ever. I really did have high hopes for Windows Phone, but Microsoft seems to be trying to destroy it at every opportunity. First the "actually, never mind mandated updates now carriers can just do whatever", then "we've removed apps from Zune, now you have to use the broken web marketplace. Good luck with that".
Rant over, I give up. Off to bed.