That is a great question about GPS. It is true Verizon did block the GPS features on many of their devices, such as the Curve 8330, but now it does not on many of the newer devices such as the Tour, Bold, and Curve2. Look for "Stand alone or assisted" GPS in the features. For example, my Bold 9650 allows you to use many 3rd party GPS apps. Hope this helps,
I'm not sure about the rest of the Blackberries but my Storm 2 does not have the GPS locked. I am using the Garmin software on my phone and do not have any issues. I paid a $79 fee for the software and there is no monthly fee and get voice turn by turn and all the other features of the Garmin GPS units.