Just for a little bit of perspective, such as I can bring. I understand the attraction of the Cisco phones–they look good, they’re cheap, the buttons and knobs feel good, they’re cheap, Cisco has good name recognition, and they’re cheap.
The problem is that they really aren’t intended to be SIP phones, so getting them working with FreePBX is going to take a bit of hacking, either on the phones (which is what I did), or (apparently) on FreePBX itself. Not really the best thing for a n00b who’s probably overwhelmed with the system anyway. It’s in this perspective that people are saying to just use a different phone. You say:
…and of course the snark will get you nowhere. But as a point of comparison, right now on eBay, a 7941G runs about US$15:
A Yealink T46G (a much newer phone, color display, more bells and whistles) is US$30:
The Yealink, like any other halfway-modern SIP phone (at least that I’m aware of) will be child’s play to configure–browse to the phone’s web GUI; enter the extension number, password, and IP address of your server; and you’re off to the races. It supports BLF and all the other niceties out of the box. There are other Yealink models for less, and there are other vendors of SIP phones, too.
The point that I think most here are trying to make is that the cost delta is minimal, but the difference in ease of use is enormous. If you simply can’t afford the $30, you know your situation better than we do, but that really does limit your options. If you just want the challenge, well, that’s on you, but then your insistence on hand-holding via your own preferred method of communication is pretty strange.