"Before this option [location] was added, I don't believe you could actually tell if you had a good GPS lock without sending a message via the Iridium Satellite network."
In truth, Mike, you could analyze the SE's GPS performance by pairing it to a Bluetooth device (better Apple) and using either DeLorme's Earthmate app (cranky!) or a competent third-party mapping app like Gaia. Early on I got a current iPod Touch, which has a supergood hi-res display and which is happy to use the GPS feed from the SE. The short story is that the SE's GPS is all that one could want it to be. It works well in forested areas and is very accurate so far as I can tell. When turned on it locks in under a minute, usually much less.
My experience using the iPod with the SE is that it's much easier and more effective than using paper topo maps, which I've been using for about fifty years. I've been skiing complex forested backcountry terrain high in the southern Rockies this season with this combination of instruments. I can tell you that finding and staying on the correct sequence of similar looking wooded ridges is *much* easier with a competent GPS map app. Previously, luck played a significant role. I also use a baseplate compass and a sighting clinometer. Oh, yes, and an altimeter. (All by Suunto) Aneroid altimeters, kept calibrated, are much better than GPS for elevation. The GPS location on the topo display provides good elevation for calibrating.
The great drawback of using electronic gizmos for important things like route finding is the possibility of equipment failure. Of course, maps and compasses (and altimeters!) can come to grief too. So can the backcountry traveler. But then you can expire at home in bed. Also, the earth could be destroyed any minute now by a big chunk of space rock. There's an app for that.