Crystal gives a whistle-stop overview of the texting phenomenon, doing the usual linguistic thing of saying, no, really, this new phenomenon isn't destroying language/literacy/life as we know it. It turns out that, rather than an entire generation growing up without vowels, in fact only a minority of texters use "text speak", and then only in texts, and not in their homework or academic essays.
He gives some historical background, and also some interesting examples of the same kind of "punning" (or possibly gr8ing) text speak occuring in other languages. Part of the problem is getting hold of a big enough corpus of data to do proper analysis; strangely people don't want to turn over their text records to academics!
Despite only being 5 years old, this is already somewhat outdated, as it is pre smart-phone, assuming the texting is done with a numeric keypad. However, it's a quick, light read, with some interesting observations.