SIM only deals
Perhaps subsidy-free isn't such a bad idea. I was just toying with the idea of changing my N95 for something newer, and looking at the tariff I'm on, the deals I was being offered by my network (Orange) weren't very good; to get something like, say, an N85 at bargain price, I'd have to commit to a two year contract, or move up to one that costs a lot more per month.
Instead, I've moved down to a SIM-only deal, which actually costs around 20 quid a month less than I'm paying, only 30 days notice, and provides me with just about twice as many minutes, MB and unlimited texts.
Over less than the two years I'd have to stay with Orange, the amount I'll save will more than pay for a new, unlocked handset - and if I'm abroad, I'll have no difficulty putting a local SIM in it to save money, either.
When I looked around, all the networks seem to be offering SIM-only deals now, from as little as a tenner a month, so perhaps there is some merit in Nokia pushing sales direct to customers.
For the punters, if you don't want a new phone, and you're out of contract, it's pretty much a no-brainer to move to a SIM only deal. If there were any shred of respectability in the mobile business, of course, you'd be moved to an equivalent price once they've clawed back the subsidy on your phone, rather than leaving it to you to work out how much you can save