I did check with the network operator before getting the phone and signing the 2 year contract. They assured me (verbally) that address syncing with my laptop was available. They looked this up in the tech specs but they did not check whether this feature was disabled as a result of their own policies. After I discovered that I couldn't do any syncing and raised a ticket with the operator's tech support, they eventually told me "sorry, not supported".
When I tried to escalate the issue in order to find somebody who might be able to lift this ban on syncing, it went in circles and I got nowhere. They didn't even grant me so much courtesy as to let me out of the 2 year contract I signed. I would have needed to hire a lawyer and who knows how much money that would have cost me.
To add insult to injury, the synchronisation applet to be installed on the Nokia was actually developed jointly by Nokia and the manufacturer of my laptop. The network operator simply didn't know what they were disabling but they also didn't have the knowledge to figure out how to fix this. They were given a big hammer with that Symbian OS and they used that hammer to smash everything that looked to them like a nail.
I blame it on the Symbian OS because if the operators are equipped with fascist tools, they will use them against their customers and the customer will lose out. If you can't manipulate the phone's OS to reclaim your fair use rights, then the OS is a user-hostile piece of crap, and I won't have any of it, thank you very much.
When I asked my Symbian developer friends for help, I had hoped they would be able to install something on the damn thing with their developer tools but they said that this involves some costly and bureaucratic authorisation process with Symbian. WTF.
We all agree that Apple is a real control-freak company, but even their phone allows the installation of applets without any authorisation from either Apple or the network. And if you can't find the app you're looking for in their online store, then you still have the last resort of asking a developer friend who has the SDK to write up some utility and install it on your iPhone, no authorisation needed, neither from Apple nor from the network. Same with Windows Mobile, you can install utilities without permission from either Microsoft or the network.
Yet with Symbian, you can't do that if the network operator doesn't want you to. That's one hell of a fascist big brother setup. The operators shouldn't be given that much power, period. I vote against this with my wallet.