I stopped into both stores tonight on the way home. T-Mobile offers the Sony Ericsson T68i and the Nokia 3650, AT&T offers both of those plus Nokia 6310. The 3650 is overkill for me - it is a fairly big phone with a large color screen and a built in camera. Well, my NZ90 has a larger color screen and a better camera. Plus I don't know that I care for the 3650's funky design. I'm leaning towards the T68i, but both vendors warned me that the reception on the T68i is weaker than on the other units. The 6310 is a bit bigger than the T68i, and I've heard word that Nokia's BlueTooth support for phonebook syncing, etc, can be troublesome. I'll have to look into it more - but I think the T68i is probably good enough for now.
T-Mobile has better coverage, they've been doing GSM for ~10 years and AT&T started switching from TDMA recently (I know, GSM rides on TDMA, you know what I mean). T-Mobile also has roaming agreements - and AT&T doesn't yet. But, ironically, T-Mobile told me something that makes me feel better about AT&T - the T-mobile rep told me that they have a roaming agreement with AT&T taking effect in June. When that happens I'd be able to use T-Mobile's larger network even with AT&T.
So this is where the subject comes into the picture. The guys at T-Mobile were friendly, and helpful enough, but didn't seem to be that knowledgable about the tech. The person I spoke with at AT&T was friendly, geeky, very well informed, and was happy to chat with me about what I plan to do with the service and about PDAs, phones from other vendors, etc. Not just trying to sell me a phone. I highly recommend Emily Benoit from the Westborough, MA AT&T Wireless store (291 Turnpike Rd Ste 300 - next to the Applebee's) - yeah, a genuine geek girl. Very cute, but she has a boyfriend - yes, that worked into the conversation. ;-)) Tell her MegaZone sent you.
AT&T wants $149 for the T68i, T-Mobile wants $299! Both have a $50 rebate currently. While T-Mobile offers more minutes, or megabytes, for a given price, AT&T is close. And Emily told me she might be able to get me a deal if it just comes down to the pricing.
I was leaning towards T-Mobile, but after tonight I plan to go with AT&T Wireless - pretty much all due to Emily. She knows her shit and she was just very cool about answering questions and generally chatting about tech and such. She also told me about a bunch of new phones they have coming in the next few months and gave me a sneak peak at the product literature, which isn't public yet. Hurray for geek girls!