It's actually not a bad deal - I can get a number of fully featured handsets for free, and if I want to spend some money I can get one with features I'd almost certainly never use, like some kind of ESPN direct feed, or the ability to track my children's location by using their phones. (The latter sounds cool, but I don't have any children and it doesn't appear to be something you can just chose to enable to track willing friends. Aaand my friends and I are all paranoid enough to probably be unwilling to turn it on, anyway.)
I spent some time comparing models and features, and such-like, and at the end of the day, I want an iPhone. Sigh.
What I don't want is to shell out $400-odd, switch to AT&T as a carrier, and all the other attendant hassles. I'm carrying another line on my current plan, as well. Then there's the fixed income, need to economize, blah blah blah. Given the choice between a free handset that, while not as sexy still meets my needs, and spending 4/5 of my month's rent on being a relatively early adopter, I'm going to have to go with the practical.
But O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag...