The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is made of plastic too. Then again, so is the Samsung Vibrant and most of the Captivate. We live in a plastic world when it comes to tech. I'd say the Torch certainly looks as good as the 9700 and more like the 9700 than the Curve 8900.
I think the first round reviewers like Giz and Engadget were a bit biased toward the large touch screen slate phones in the iPhone/iPhone competitor family of devices. Those are very in right now, and they certainly have their merits. I obviously think it's better to look at the BlackBerry in a different light, as a business phone that can handle fun stuff too. As far as I know, not everyone wants an iPhone kind of device just yet .
I did indeed purchase a 9800. I carry several phones, but none are as good at calls, reception and messaging as the Berry. When it comes to downtime, the Captivate is still a lot of fun.