1. I've been rather dissatisfied with Dell's highly promoted "customer oriented" service as well when I purchased MY X51v.
2. You should be able to contact Dell and have them replace the entire package!
3. Microsoft has fallen asleep with BOTH WM5 and ActiveSync 4.0.
4. You mention that the units are actually produced for Dell. Are you aware of who REALLY does make the Axim? From what I hear it is -- HP!! (And I've had VERY EXTREMELY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE from them with respect to my desktop unit AND I HAD A THREE YEAR ON-SITE SERVICE CONTRACT!!!)
Ah, if only this were a more perfect world! Have a great day.