My previous phone was a Palm Pre which I was given for free. Whilst it was great to have a phone for free, and it did get me addicted to e-mail and internet access via my mobile, the battery life on that phone was so poor that I literally couldn't get through the day without finding somewhere to charge up my phone. Turning on wi-fi was guaranteed to have the battery gone in a few hours so, despite the fact that I liked the screen and the push out proper keyboard, I reluctantly looked around for something else.
I chose the HTC Wildfire primarily because it seemed the best value for money. So far, I've been really pleased with it. The battery life seems amazing compared to the Palm. I can use the internet, check e-mails all day and have wi-fi permanently on and still not get close to running out within a normal day - although I must say I'm not a heavy calls user so it might be different if you're on the phone all through the day.
The screen is not as good as the palm - you get what you pay for, but its more the clarity of the text rather than the screen size itself, so it's still good for looking at websites.
The keyboard is a touch screen version which has taken some getting used to, and wouldn't be great for those with big fingers and thumbs as it would be hard to type accurately with any speed. However, you can turn it sideways for a larger keyboard and it does bring up suggested words in a similar way to predictive texts.
All in all, really satisfied, only loses out very slightly on the screen text quality.