Okay, so I went and did the Apple fanboys research for them. Well, not really "did research" as much as "saw an ad" (despite MythTV's ad filtering, the wife still watches a lot of live TV while I cook dinner) about one of the features of the iPhone: visual voicemail.
This is one of those things you go "it's so obvious, why didn't I think of it?" or "why aren't other companies doing it?". To be able to see a list of people who called and what the length of the call was, that would be kind of useful. And it meets the "not offered before" (that I'm aware of) criterion that I had stated earlier in my request for proof of inventiveness in the iPhone. Not that I get a lot of voicemail, but I hate checking voicemail because it feels like I am serving the system, not vice versa ("Please input your f*cking long PIN in 4seconds or you will be disconnected", "Please press a button or I will continue to annoy you with menu options you won't remember anyway").
So, score one for iPhone. It's still not enough to make me switch, especially considering my iPhone would probably be bricked in a week for "tampering" (there's software I need in a smartphone that's not on the iPhone, dammit!). Not to mention it doesn't (currently) work with Linux, but I suppose that will be fixed soon. Not by Apple, but by the Linux community.
Note to Apple fanboys: I'm perfectly happy with my current smartphone. It does everything I need; some of those things can't currently be done with an iPhone. That's okay. The world doesn't need just one operating system, one browser or one smartphone. Don't believe the hype; use what works best for you and please STFU to me about the iPhone. I've evaluated it and it doesn't meet my needs.