The real issue is that almost everyone wants the iPhone. They just can't wait to get it. Meaning, they are with T-Mobile, Verizon, etc, and when their contract gets close to coming up, they think "I'm gonna wait for my contract to expire, then, get an iPhone!"
But, they can't wait. The allure of that new phone from their current provider (along with words like "FREE", "VIP customer", "Special Upgrade Price"), comes at them from all sides. SO, they visit their carrier, only to be duped but the sales rep when he says "You don't want the iPhone....You want 'the pre', or 'Storm'"
So, they get a phone. A Pre, Storm, G1, or Blackberryt. After a few days, it gets old. Just exactly like their old phone. Sure they try to justify, "It's better than the iPhone..." They try to convince themselves.
Then it's over. It's gone. It's just a phone again, and the "magic" is gone.
They keep hearing about the iPhone, every day....new apps, top rated phones, fastest phone...and then the nail in the coffin...one of their friends gets it!
And everyone who has ever had an iPhone (95%, so almost everyone), loves it. In fact with each software update 2.2, 3.0, the phone keeps getting better. And better and better. Will the "Pre", get better? How about the "Storm". (which just didn't quit live up to the hype). "G1"? faded fast. Nope won't happen!
So, they lash out. "Why can't my carrier have the iPhone. Why oh Why? Then I would not be such an idiot. I hate AT&T. I hate Apple....."
I hate my phone!
And so, it goes. Those people that hate AT&T in most cases, really don't. It's not usually coverage, or service, or price. In fact AT&T is growing faster than any other carrier, according to 1st quarter results.
What they hate is themselves. They hate the fact that they settled, on something less than the iPhone.
That's the real issue here. We need to get lawmakers involved to make use all feel better. More importantly, we need them to protect us, from ourselves. That's freedom....