Thanks for the help. Just a couple more questions, I promise!
After pondering your response and doing a lot more homework on the matter, it looks like I'll probably end up staying with a more 'traditional' no-contract provider, such as Cricket, Boost, Virgin, etc... After looking at the 'big name' providers, it appears that since they can't depend on holding people 'hostage,' for two years, they try to compensate for it by inflating the price of the phone on the front side. The majority of the carriers want A LOT for their phones! MAN!
With that said, I have some (hopefully) final questions for you, as well as everyone out there.
1. I was ...