Like I was planning to, I returned the phone to Costco where I bought it. And found myself in a trap: the way relations between Costco and T-Mobile are set up is such that even though I returned the phone before the end of 14 days grace period, I would not be eligible to buy a subsidized phone sold at Costco for next two years.
UPDATE (2010/12/16): Nor at any T-Mobile third party reseller.
"That's the way the system works", Costco rep told me. "Nothing I can do about it - T-Mobile reps look at account notes and can override things, but for us the computer simply won't let me do it".
I guess my days of early adoptions are over. And Samsung is much less likely to get my dollars next time, even though the screen on that phone is truly grand.
UPDATE: Samsung reports that the fix is on the way.
Well, good for them. However, I've already returned the phone, and it's their problem to deal with it now, not mine. Two days too late. Should've spoken earlier.
Vote with your dollars, folks. It works.