@ thomas newton
"and before all the fanboys start explaining what I'm missing out on by refusing to line Jobs' pocket any further"
What fanboys would these be exactly?
It's a cunning wheeze to use lines like the one I quoted, you're already pre-empting criticism with 'well, you would say that because you're a fanboy', but the Apple fanboys won't be disagreeing with you.
If you look on any Mac forum, you'll see that the majority of posters are critical about this and the iPhone generally. Macrumors.com, for instance, when it ran its story about the UK pricing, users could click whether they thought it was a positive or negative announcement - 151 said positive, 591 said negative.
If you look back further, the average Apple fanboy predicted that the iPod would be a complete and utter diaster. Look at the forums whenever Apple releases a new product, and a noticeable percentage of posters will be unhappy due to the lack of free gold-plated jetpack.
On El Reg, the positive comments about the iPhone tend to be:
a) I've used one, really liked it so I'm going to get it.
b) It's not my thing, but there's no accounting for taste/sheep believing the hype.
As for the Maddox piece about the iPhone, yeah, it was pretty funny, but his one about Apple users who don't shut up was a LOT better.
"so for £200 less, I'm getting arguably a better phone with a far better tariff."
I would say you most definitely are - but the average consumer doesn't think along these lines. I know quite a few people at Carphone Warehouse in a variety of jobs - one salesperson tells me that he's lost count of the amount of people who come in wanting a phone with the highest megapixels possible, but then say the ONLY thing they'll be doing with the pictures they take is to send them via MMS. He's given up trying to explain why they're wasting money.
I wonder whether this is one reason why people are posting so vehemently against the iPhone - that so many people are attracted to the Emperor's New Phone, and the posters are furious that some many people are being taken in.