To iPhone or not to iPhone, that is the question

I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time trying to decide whether or not I want to get an iPhone. Well, of course I want an iPhone; I’ve been trying to decide if going through the hassle and expense of getting an iPhone would be worth it.

On the plus side, I will no longer have iPhone envy when the cooler, more popular nerds whip out their touchscreen darlings. Additionally, I’d be able to use that Visual Voicemail thing, which is good because I hate voicemail (sorry Scott Jones). I’d also be able to use the internet to satiate my thirst for random information without having to involve ChaCha (sorry Scott Jones). Plus, thanks to that iPhone app store and the thriving community of developers, I’d be able to do things like blog, Facebook (that’s a verb, right?) and get Magic 8 ball-style fortunes whenever and wherever I am.

On the flip side, I will need to spend $175 to get out of my Sprint contract. Then I’ll need to actually find a store with iPhones in stock, pay $199 for one, plus $35 to activate a new AT&T account — and fork over the first month’s service fees, which are a minimum of $69.99 … plus another $20 for unlimited text messages, which I’ve been using a lot of recently. Total short term investment of around $500 and another two grand or so in service fees over the course of my contract.

Meanwhile, I could make the decision to slip into a Samsung Instinct, which I could get for less than the iPhone (although I might have to twist Sprint’s arm to make that happen since I’m already under contract). Then I’d get a reasonable facsimile of much of the iPhone goodness, plus turn-by-turn GPS. (What I wouldn’t get are the apps or the good internet experience.) And not only could I probably get the phone on the cheap, but I could also slide into a plan that would get me all the same wiz-bang features of that $90 iPhone plan for about $55.

So the question is should I shell out a ton more money to have what I would really want or shell out much less to get some of the things that I want on a better deal? Typically, I’d say go for broke (I’m kind of an all-or-nothing guy) but I’m not even really sure I’d use all that stuff I want from the iPhone. I mean, is $2500 really worth it to occasionally update my Facebook profile while taking a shit?