Is color really worth it?
Worth what? I don't think it is worth adding a lot of bulk, shortening battery life, or waiting for. So I doubt it is worth buying a WinCE device rather then a PalmOS one. But I don't know much about the new color Palms. They might be worth something. If the battery lasts long enough. If they aren't too heavy.
In my opinion this thing is worthless if it is too heavy or bulky to carry everywhere. That means shirt pocket, or pants pocket. It is worthless if it out of battery when you need to use it. So regular batteries (like the AAA's most Palm devices use) are nice because you can get an extra set of AAAs at a drugstore, or out of your glove box if you need them. (I use NiMH re-chargeable AAAs, but it is a nice safety net to be able to stop at a store if I forgot to change them this month).
What about those expansion ports? (Handspring)
I have a Handspring. I got it in part for the more memory, and in part because of "all the cool stuff" coming out for it. So far none of the "cool stuff" has shown up. Well, almost none. I have a backup module ($30) which is pretty cool. I keep it at the office, and sync at home. But if my Unix box at work had USB I wouldn't need the backup module at all.
Currently the Palm has more expansion stuff (via the serial port) then the Handspring. I could connect my cell phone to the Palm (still waiting on Innogear's 6-in-1). I could connect lots of different GPSes to the Palm (still waiting on Marcosoft, or whomever's GPS).
On paper Handspring's Springboard rocks (802.11 anyone? Xircom and Symbol both made announcements). In the real world, well it's a bust so far. It could change. But I wouldn't bet much money on it.
Do you find yourself wishing you had the model with more RAM or can most people
get by with less?
I use to have a PalmIII. I bought it used before I was sure I would get my monies worth from a Palm. The 1M it had was quite cramped. I could fit everything I needed in it. I couldn't keep everything I wanted in it. I'm very happy with the 8M in Handspring's Visor Deluxe. Despite being unthrilled with the availability of the Springboard modules, I'm happy i got the Visor, biased pretty much on the memory issue alone (the CPU is faster, well actually the memory, but I don't really feel a difference; I like the clip on cover better then the flip up-into-your-way cover on the III, but others disagree; I like the clear color on the Visor, but not enough to warrant getting one for that reason alone!).
Of course there are now Palm branded units with "enough" memory (4M would have been enough). In fact if you are not prone to breaking or losing things the Palm Vx looks quite nice. Not so much because it looks nice, but because it weighs almost nothing, and fits in small pockets. Very nice. Also quite costly.
And of course: Palm or WinCE? :)
I haven't used WinCE. I can say PalmOS has tons of apps, and is quite responsive on the fairly slow hardware (think 16Mhz 68000 -- think mid to late '80s). The form factor of most of the WinCE units is a no-no, but a few look like they might be pocketable. I went with PalmOS, and was happy.
I'd ask about the wireless Internet but it is unavailable in my area...
Your not missing much. I had a Nokia 9000i, it was too bulky and slow. Being able to use a real browser once in a while was nice, but it was no substitute for a real laptop. It had a telnet, but I didn't really use it (no crypto). The 900i was way too bulky. I have a Samsung SCH-3500 now. It only does WAP, so less then 1% of the web was available. If I could hook the SCH-3500 to the Palm I could use SSH (Topgun SSH on the palm), which would be really really cool, but I would use it extremely rarely.
I had great luck getting a cheap (used) Palm and deciding what I really wanted. I recommend the same to you. Maybe by the time you know if you will use the Palm enough to justify having a nice one, the expansion issue will be settled. Or maybe the color issue. Or both.
P.S. many people don't like the Visor because the OS is in ROM (not FLASH). That's not a big deal. The OS can be patched in RAM (which will eat away at your RAM, but if you have a 8M visor it's a non-issue, and the smaller Visor is too small to use long term). They all ready have a patch to do IR hotsync (the only PalmOS3.3 feature that the Visor's 3.0H didn't have all ready). Remember the ROM is only 1M! You'll have 7M left over even if you have to patch 100% of it!