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Which service and/or phone should I get?
Your primary concern when shopping for a service provider (carrier) should be coverage (and quality of the coverage) in the areas where you'll use your phone. The cheapest plan or snazziest phone are worthless if you can't get reasonable data speeds or make calls where you need to.
Don't pay attention to blanket statements about which carrier has better service in general or in the past. Coverage and service quality can vary wildly in different areas, and improve dramatically over time. So try to find people in your area who currently use the carrier you're considering, and ask about their recent experience with coverage and data speeds.
As for phones, everyone has different needs. If you know the features you want in your phone, try our Phone Finder to find the perfect phone for you.