I took the exact same path. My Pre 2 kept getting slower, and I didn't want to go through the whole doctor process, and the battery started getting burned through very quickly, no matter what battery I had installed, so I finally moved on. I bought an 822 off eBay. When I got the phone it did not have the micro-SIM card required to activate it on Verizon (it's an LTE phone, so, much like GSM phones, they need a SIM card to be activated on the carrier's network). So I took it to a local Verizon Wireless store and had them activate the phone, no cost. They provided the mico-SIM and activated the phone on their network. It did take about a half hour or so. Once activated, your all set.
Originally Posted by gbafam
One piece of advice: When I first had my phone, I noticed that the phone always either showed LTE or no data, and my data would drop out frequently. The phone would also have a tendency to crash when using an app that was actively pulling data when the data connection would drop out or bounce. I fixed this, and some others have as well, by going into Settings > cellular, and setting Data roaming to "roam" and Mode selection to "LTE and CDMA." With this combination, I pretty much always have a data connection, the phone has only had one "crash" in over a month (an app caused this one), and I know get 3G and 1x (Edge) indicators when the phone is out of LTE and on one of the lower data tiers. Make sure you have these things setup right, as random data connection loss and crashes are the primary reason for 822 returns at VZW. They did just release a small stability update that might have addressed this, but play it safe.
One thing I do like is that, when the phone does need a reboot, it does so in about half the time, or less, of my Pre 2. I do miss the cards, especially for closing apps (get used to using the back button to back out of your apps). But the smoothness is hard to describe. The live tiles are really great to have as well.