While subsidies, long-term contracts and unbecoming groveling are all part of the game when it comes to getting a hot new phone for a reasonable price, we'd say Best Buy's listed "regular price" for the Palm Pre is a little extreme: $849.99 will buy you a lot of Palm shares these days. That's miles away from Sprint's supposed $550 off-contract price, and it sounds like somebody along the chain doesn't want just anyone walking out of a Best Buy with Pre in their pocket and no "Simply Everything" plan hanging around their neck.

[Thanks, Fredrick C]