Can't wait for a Verizon iPhone? No problem—you can get one now. Cheaper than AT&T's borked handset, too. Yeah, we're being creative with the term "iPhone," but who cares. It works.
With an iPod Touch in your pocket and a MiFi in your bag, you have a fully-functional, always-connected iOS device talking to the world over the Verizon Wireless network. Sure, it's technically a hack, you won't be able to send an MMS (just like the old days!), and you'll need to use a couple extra apps—but your reception will almost definitely improve, and the total monthly cost will be a good chunk lower than an equivalent AT&T plan.
• An iPod Touch
• A Verizon MiFi
• A headset
• A phone number from Line2
APPS YOU WANT
• Calling: Facetime, Line2, Fring, or Tango
• 8GB iPod Touch: $229
• Verizon MiFi: $99 plus $35/month (we recommend the 3GB plan)
• Phone number (Line2): $10/month
• Get A Number: FaceTime, Fring, and Tango are great ways to keep in touch, but they aren't ubiquitous enough yet. Try Line2, a $10/month service that gets you your very own phone number plus unlimited VOIP calls and texts within the US and Canada. You could also use Skype, but you won't get the free text messages.
• Get Coverage: Verizon's MiFi will give you enough bandwidth to jaw off anywhere the company's EVDO fingers touch. Which is pretty much everywhere. If you've got a hankering for 4G, and live in one of the markets that supports it, you can also go with the zippy Sprint Overdrive.
• Get Headphones: The iPod Touch has one setting: Speakerphone. Do everyone a favor and buy a headset.
OK, It's Not Perfect...
The primary downside to the iPod Touch Phone is that it can't send or receive MMS messages. Sadly, there isn't a perfect way to simulate this experience yet, so any naughty photos or videos will have to be sent the old-school way: Email. But who cares? We survived a couple years with MMS-less iPhones before, and we can do it again.