Americans: gaze upon your neighbors around you if you want to see what a healthy GSM ecosystem looks like. Okay, we're sure many of our Canadian friends would disagree that the Rogers / Bell / Telus oligopoly is anything close to "healthy," but nonetheless, we're still envious of the fully-unlocked option Apple is offering for all iPhones in the online store -- just like the UK
-- along with a promise that a "reduced initial price with a contract directly from your wireless carrier" if you're still interested in getting tied up in a contract. That's a lot closer to the European phone sales model, and it's a model American carriers have never even come close to touching. Now if you'll excuse us, we need to get back to refreshing our connection to this utterly dead upgrade eligibility server.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]