HTC Dream (g1) did not even fall into the sea. But somehow it did not like salty/humid air...
Display would work for a few seconds after power-up. More if I stored it in very dry place. So I removed the battery and let it in the car on direct sunlight. Display now works.
I have both to compare now... and I must say I like Dream hardware more. Capacitive display on Dream is nicer to work with. Stylus on n900 is useful for old applications. Dream has better GPS, and triangulation using GSM that actually work. n900 has powerful flashlight. Dream has way better keyboard and is lighter. But n900 has operating system you don't have to fight with, and storage that actually works and is reasonably fast. (All SD cards I had were in "obviously broken" and "just very slow" range). Remote access was never-ending fight, it just works on n900.
Now, sl4a port would be nice. And there's no backup/recovery system on n900 AFAICT. I assumed backing up contacts/calendar from n900 would be easy... it is possible but not that nice.
It turns out
scp email@example.com:./.osso-abook/db/addressbook.db . # https://github.com/runejuhl/N900-address-book-to-vCards/blob/master/parsecontacts.py db_dump -p addressbook.db > dbout.vcf ./parsecontacts.py
Does the trick, but it took a while to figure out. (Does anyone keep tools suitable for working with Maemo phones?)
Tethering Dream was quite easy, lets see if I can figure it out with n900.