I went & impulse-bought a Maplin Bluetooth shield yesterday.
It comes with a little tiny book containing examples, and uses the softwareserial library in these; I can load them, and get the Arduino <-> PC communication going OK, however there appears not to be a response from the bluetooth part of the device. The LED lights much as the booklet says it should. I did see it return some odd characters one time, just the once..
Given that the system appears to be alive, I don't want to give up & take it back; however the output from Google is not promising, and my trial to date isn't either - so I'm looking for positive news that this product does actually work for someone somewhere?
I'm using the built-in serial in the IDE to talk to it, not X-CTU as they suggest (as they don't do a Linux version).