Just saying Hi as a newbie to Symbian development (recently got a 6680, and just can't resist writing code for it).
A couple of quick questions:
1. How accurate is the emulator? Is the general feel that "it's perfect" / "good enough but not perfect" / "has some areas that need to be worked around" ??
2. Debugging on the target platform. I currently write XP kernel drivers, and on a PC, it's possible to boot the machine in debug mode, connect a remote debugger via a serial port, load symbols and debug the target directly. Considering series 6 phones, is it possible to do this, or am I on to a bit of a non-starter? I suspect my network provider would probably take a dim view ... but saw nothing in the contract saying "thou shalt not debug thy phone...."
The emulator is OK, but has its limitations. Having said that however, in 99% of cases, you can develop your app in the emulator, get it working, and then build it for target.
Debugging on target is possible, but I have not had to do it (see GDBstub). Again in 99% of cases, you will be able to simply write a bit of debug to file to help you work out what is broken.
Regarding "safe mode boot", there is no such thing in S60. Also as a 3rd party developer, you are not able to write device drivers. This is prevented in S60 by only allowing device driver loading from ROM and since you cannot modify ROM, this isn't possible (nor desired by Nokia).