Believe it or not, the camera still works flawlessly; there's a tiny hole that I assume leads to the CCD that does the actual picture-taking, and obviously the metal ring and lens-glass/plastic were never relevant.
But the phone is looking increasingly beat up, and the battery life has been waning, so I'm starting to think it might be worth springing for the $50 to invoke the insurance plan and get a replacement phone. I have no particular desire to replace the phone with a new model at the moment, or commit to another two years with Verizon Wireless, so the $50 investment in a replacement for this phone seems like a good idea. It should among other benefits increase the resale value if and when I do decide to get something to replace it. And, it's entirely possible that they'll be out of this model and have to give me one of the later, better models.
Meantime, it's way too soupy out.