"holding a 7" phone up to your face looks pretty ridiculous"... Well, I feel less ridiculous the very few times I do that than if I had to carry a phone AND a tablet AND a laptop every time I travel. Plus I don't really care about ridiculous, like beauty it is mostly in the eye of the beholder.
"unless you are using speaker phone or a bluetooth headset" I'm using a wired headset. Sorry if that's not fashion-approved.
"But, thankfully, life hasn't forced me to be constantly tethered to a device like this." Well, if you prefer to be tethered to a stamp-size squint-box for fear of how others look at you, that's your prerogative. I advise you to gather a crowd next time you go buy... anything... and get their approval before any purchase.
To give you a point of reference, a 6" screen (let alone my 7") is to a 4" screen what a 23" is to a 15" screen. I wouldn't go back to 15" on my desktop, I wouldn't go back to 4" for my phone.