Thanks! I'm thinking I will, especially after your comments! As far as I'm concerned, it hits 6 out of 7 of my target goals, the only miss being that it currently runs ICS and not JB. But that should be rectified sooner rather than later. Also think I should be able to come up with some fun projects for the old Incredible.
I dunno how much you're into the custom side of things Carl, but there is JB available for it in the form of an official CyanogenMod 10.1 build, although that's without Sense and based on Google Android (AOSP). Development for this device isn't on top, but there are a couple of refined ROMs based on the stock experience, as well as AOSP-based JB stuff:http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1588
Verizon are historically (more) terrible at software updates (not that any carrier is great, of course), although I do think I remember the IncLTE being on a list to receive either a JB update and/or a bump to Sense 4.1, although a few phones on that list have since been canned (the One S, in particular). Verizon are obviously making room for something
HTC in their lineup, as the DNA and the IncLTE are in the process of being phased out of retail stores.
You don't need eight cores and 2GB of RAM- but the two cores and 1GB of RAM in my Note 1 is seriously not enough. I cannot wait to get rid of this thing; sometimes it works okay, many times it's so slow you'd think I was running Vista on it.
N7000 or i717 mate? I found the i717 (AT&T model) pretty lousy (especially on the stock GB software), the N7000 had that little bit less 'stutter' about it in normal use though. I was using a backup N7000 until my Mega arrived last week, and even on JB the stutter is still there. For all the benchmark-glory Exynos gets, it doesn't particularly translate well to good day-to-day use. Usage habits differ a lot though, and custom software definitely helps these days on 'older' SoCs such as 4212 and 8660.
Unfortunately, concentrating on such a mammoth device portfolio, Samsung (and all manufacturers, really) rarely take the time to do any serious form of software optimisation on their handsets anymore, either. Compile the kernel, slap in a lousy RIL, give it a generic build of whatever version you want to ship, put TouchWiz in, call it a day. The public will call it out if it runs like a dog, and then you can patch it until its better. The vast majority of people still don't care though, so there's really no need to concentrate on it too much, no matter how much it frustrates the enthusiast crowd. It's obviously working for them, too.