From what i've heard, i wouldnt blame the Honda, its more than likely the fault of the far from perfect Iphone!!
The iphone is laking in some features but it is not as you imply. I know several with them and they work perfectly all of the time, never crash, and have really good call quality.
The lack of features is anoying to them (No MMS messaging capability? no 3g?... what were Apple thinking!!!), but that is how the phone was released, not a "fault".
It really is a great product, but needs work to make it truely great, but it is far, far better than you have "heard".
Try one, you may not buy one afterwards but if you really do spend some time mucking about and exploring just how capable it is I would be shocked if your opinion was not changed (The only person I have met who wasn't impressed when he got to try one out was actually the type of person who would call grass red, just to be 'right').
Personally I went for the 16gb ipod touch (fully jailbroken on 1.1.3) as I didnt need a phone on O2. I do not have any peice of electrical equipment that impresses half as much. The operating system is an absolute revelation, both in execution and ease of use.
Back on Topic:
I beleive the reason the phone doesn't work is due to the fact that the ipod section of it is just one of many available applications, not the main operating application.
What I mean is that when you plug a cable into the touch it defaults to be an ipod, the cable plugged into the phone defaults to be a phone and doesn't 'see' the ipod application (any more than it sees the safari web browser, or email, or notes).
For all the similarities between the two products they do both run very different base operating systems.
ps. 16GB iphone and 32GB ipod touch lauched today in the USA