I was all excited about seeing another Nokia S60 device on a US carrier, but I guess I shouldn't have been so hopeful after AT&T took the WiFi out of the last Nokia E61 device. I went into all of the details on what is missing from the Nokia E71x on my Nokia Experts site and as you can see there is little value in buying the E71x compared to the outstanding Nokia E71 NAM unlocked model. For someone like me who doesn't have an upgrade available the E71x is $300, which is about the same price as a fully unlocked and functional Nokia E71.
I know that Nokia has to make concessions to carriers to get their devices on the networks, but IMHO there were way too many changes that were made (not for the better) in the E71x. I think it may still do well for new customers looking for a solid messaging device, but the lame included Nokia Messaging client and lack of threaded text messaging may deter even those folks. Nokia Email is a very good software and service, and works like a champ on the E71x if you use the web and then SMS link install method. yet it doesn't current work on the E71x so the older version of Nokia Messaging is used. The improvements Nokia made in other areas (Calendar, customizable hardware buttons, Home screen apps, and more) are all missing in the E71x.