I've been looking for a new cell phone for a while, and looked longingly at the t-mobile hiptop. I've been looking for a phone that has some serious memory for numbers, has a usable calendar, and some form of internet connectivity. The always-on web access, AIM client, and digital camera are all just gravy on my initial requirements, but definitely make it more useful.
The thing that's holding me back is that my old cell phone number is used by a few dozen friends and family as a primary way to contact me, and I've also got a couple hundred business cards with my old number. I recall hearing some news about how hard it was to transfer a mobile number from one company to another a couple years back but figured it was taken care of by now. I asked around and looked online for info and undercovered some astonishing stuff.
Even though you pay a good deal in taxes for mobile phones, the FCC has dragged their feet on the number portability issue, due mostly to Verizon's insistence. I love the way this site puts it: "Imagine an industry where customers are leaving more quickly than they are joining. If you were part of that industry, would you: 1) try to increase your level of customer satisfaction? or 2) fight any provision that would increase competition in your industry?"
It looks like another attempt by some companies to (ab)use obscure laws and regulatory agencies to protect their business models.