I just put Pharos through its paces, so I thought I'd post a little review. First of all, if you are planning to use this as some sort of car navigation aid, you're crazy. Not only would it probably get you killed, but the "route" finding feature doesn't work. I did manage to create a successful route by telling it to go a few blocks down a street, but that is hardly what I'd like to use it for. Even a simple 1.5 mile trip down major roads generated a failure in the route calculator. I also tried making a route through downtown Kansas City (from the zoo to Kemper Arena) with no luck (I thought it might work better in metropolitan areas).
What this does work well as is a moving map GPS display. It would be nice for pilots who can't afford the multi-thousand dollar gps units. There are two big problems with this though - the passive screen and the overly-detailed maps (can't turn off minor roads). Also, from what I can tell it is pretty difficult to navigate outward from a zoomed in point. You have to drag the stylus northeast and keep repeating until you zoom out enough. Ideally, there would be a drop-down box where you could select, say, four zoom levels (street level, major roads, nearest highway, whole map or something) to quickly zoom out so that you can zoom into the place you'd like to add to your route. Of course, since the route feature doesn't work, this is moot.
I'll agree that reading the maps through CF is pretty slow, but not intolerable. If the software was more complete, it could work. Ideally they would let you create and save custom views and selectively enable/disable map features. I'll try loading a smaller map into the RAM and look for improvement. One major problem with the slow loading is zooming out (since every time you zoom out it loads new roads). Again, if there was some sort of "view bookmarking" feature, this wouldn't be too much of a problem.
Lastly, having selective availability turned off by the government is awesome. The Find->GPS Position in Pharos goes right to where my house is. Of course, evil terrorists can now aim GPS guided missiles at my house as well, but I'll take the good with the bad.