Here is a good prepaid (pay as you go) site with comparisons:http://www.cellguru.net/index.htmhttp://www.cellguru.net/prepaid_hybrid_compare.htm
I have had AT&T (was cingular) pay-as-you-go (no contracts) for almost 3 yrs and it has worked well. I only have to buy $25 airtime every 3 months, which is only $8.33 per month. I pay 25 cents per minute so get 100 minutes every 3 months, or 33 minutes per month, which is more than I need. They have another plan which is 10 cents per minute but has a $1 daily fee, so avoid that. I love pay as you because there is no contract, but the coverage area is only urban areas (Madison, Milwaukee, etc).
The rates and coverage areas for all the prepaid services (AT&T, Virgin, Tracfone, etc) are similar but I chose AT&T because they many stores for when I have questions, and they have the best phones. I recently upgraded to the Nokia 6085 which is a great phone and only cost $40 for a refurb on the web:http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone- ... 85+(Refurb
You can try it for 30 days and return it for a refund if you don't like it, but you need to buy airtime.