All the problems you might think could occur when one organization is selling you a phone another organization is going supply phone services to (and yet another handles 'hardware' problems) do seem happen.
Google's site wouldn't give me the T-Mobile discount, evidently because I am already in a family plan with T-Mobile. After researching this a bit I talk to a T-Mobile representative (who are fairly easy to get a hold of, uniformly helpful, and mostly knowledgeable) who suggests that they switch me to two individual accounts, I order the phone from Google, and then after it ships they will switch me back to the family plan, upgraded with the new data plan required.
Fine. So I do that, and Google says the phone will now cost $379 ($150 discount) because I am not a 'new' T-Mobile customer. T-Mobile says I'm eligible for the full discount to the advertised $179 price. They helpfully gave me a number at Google to call. Turns out the number is for HTC. She was helpful, but said that's the way things work and showed where on Google's site you can submit a question.I did that and the (rather quick) response was that the full discount is only for new T-Mobile customers.
I'd buy an unlocked version for the full $529, but the T-Mobile reps don't seem to know about any rumored T-Mobile monthly discounts for such a phone. I suppose I could become a 'new' T-Mobile customer, then cancel my old phone and possibly get back into the family plan, but I'm afraid I'll end up with a double bill for at least a month. Or I could buy a full price phone and stick my SIM card into it and see what happens.
This is all taking way too much time.
Update: Friday 2010 January 15: The Google phone site is now offering existing T-Mobile customers like me a $250 discount. That's enough! I ordered it.