I bought the new Thunderbolt about a month or so ago and the first day I had it it died by lunch, of course I was messing around with it all morning. That was a while ago, but I will give you a key example from yesterday.
A buddy of mine has the iPhone and I of course have the Thunderbolt. We went around town yesterday and neither of us really used our phones at all. I checked my email once and sent off a text but that was it, nothing more, nothing less. 7 hrs later we were walking around downtown and my battery is DEAD! Phone off . . . While his is still chugging along. He chuckled because I always give him a hard time about iPhones sucking!!! So much for that!
I wouldn't care if these programs were running if my battery didn't die. However, as someone said earlier these devices are first and foremost PHONES! I know we all do more than talk on them, but if something happens and I need to make a call, that is why we have these things in the first place, otherwise we'd all go buy tablets.
I love Droid, but the system startup takes FOREVER! I don't think it should take my phone longer to boot than my laptop! Not only does the phone, which I paid $250 for on top of a new contract, come with all kinds of software I don't want (ie. Blockbuster, Guitar Hero, etc), but I can't even control what is running? And if I try to control what is running, it works for about 30 seconds and then they all boot up again. This is MY phone after all is it not?
I'm sure developers look at these comments and shake their heads cause we don't "get it"; but as consumers if we are unhappy with the products, then we will stop buying them and the developers have no job, so . . . take that as you will. In the past, we have not had all this bloatware on our phones, but not suddenly its required? I think its just there to help the corporate bottom line personally.
Overall, I LOVE this phone and the OS, but it needs to get worked on pretty seriously.
The Android operating system is a power hungry beast to start with, add the super bright display, 4G LTE radio and other background apps and the Thunderbolt is an extreme example of the problem.
For the start up time, go to the Settings menu, select Power, and at the bottom of the screen toggle on "Fast Boot". That will cut your startup time to about 15 seconds.
For battery life, go to the Android Market and download "Juice Defender" (the free version is fine) and launch and activate that app. It has DOUBLED the battery life on my Thunderbolt (from about 4 hours with 4G active to over 8 hours, and 9 hours with 3G active to over 16).
Hope this helps, but the one thing iPhones (and iPads) are really good at is battery life.