I found AT&T offers iPhone 8GB refurb for $249. Here is the link. As of now the regular iPhone 8GB is $399 at Apple or AT&T store. I think one has to sign up the AT&T data plan to use some of the web features of iPhone. I could be wrong.
Also, I found this iPhone flip version rumor interesting (source: Sina). I understand the US consumers have a special love for flip phones. I personally switched to the SamSung A437 flip phone lately.
Random thoughts about the power grib of cell phone:
I felt Apple, Google and wireless operators such as AT&T, China Mobile are very keen about the software and service on the mobile phones, and how much of a cut can they get. Each appoached this in a different way. Google’s Android platform seems more open to all the players, while Apple has a more proprietary approach.
I think personally think operators should have their fair cut because they invested heavily on the infrustruture (wireless tower, etc.). If we all use open source and don’t pay them fairly, they don’t have money and incentive to upgrade the equipment. We will back to the good old cell phone.