So I made it my point to call on an almost weekly basis, and finally said something similar to "look, if you didn't have me locked into a contract, this call would be about cancelling my service... so I need you to make this better." I was really only looking for a $20 credit on my service or something. Instead I got a new Motorola T721 for free, a $20 call credit, and no mandatory contract renewall (read: I can still cancel if I want in August, I think). This only worked because I just happened to be standing in an AT&T Wireless store when I was talking to the customer care guy and said "Well, in your own store, the Sony Ericsson shows "No Access", the Siemens shows "No Network" and the Motorola has full signal... tell me how that works". He did have an answer except "Well... I can send you the one that apparently works". Okay... that's fine... I'll take it :)
What's the lesson here folks? BITCH, BITCH, BITCH!
So now I've got a new cellphone, and have to relearn it's quirks, but maybe (despite what I believe) the service will be better with it... and I can still switch to Sprint when my contract's up anyway. it's even a little bit smaller... hopefully it still fits in my ashtray ;)