This is not the typical "I hate AT&T" rant you're probably thinking of based on the headline. I'm actually one of those iPhone users who does NOT hate AT&T. I don't love them either. They provide a service that for the most part I haven't had any major problems with. Have I had dropped calls? Yep! Have I been in low coverage areas? Yep! Have I experienced an overloaded data network (think Macworld Expo) first hand? Yep! These are all the typical reasons why people HATE AT&T. However, I don't really see this as being very different from any other network. I used to be a Sprint customer and I have a Verizon data card.
I have yet to see or use any network with 100 % great reception in all areas and zero dropped calls. The way I see it is that it's easy to say Verizon (or any other carrier) has GREAT service when they aren't under the same load. Don't get me wrong, I seriously think AT&T needs to improve their network. I also think that if the iPhone had been exclusive to Verizon from the start and saw an influx of millions of data hungry users all at once, we would have seen similar problems with their network too! They may have responded more quickly. They may not have had as many problems. They may have handled the growth better and they may not have. The problem is we'll never know. Lastly let's not forget that it was AT&T that was willing to take a chance on the iPhone back in 2007 when Verizon (reportedly) rejected the iPhone deal.
I want the iPhone to go to Verizon for two other reasons
Even if Apple announced that the iPhone was NOW AVAILABLE on Verizon TODAY, I would not move off of AT&T. The reason is, I need a GSM based phone that can operate in any country in the world as my job requires worldwide travel. Like it or not, the rest of the world is GSM based and CDMA networks are primarily a US thing. Even if Apple had worked things out with Verizon first, they would have still needed to build a GSM version of the iPhone to sell in other countries. Why do I anxiously await a Verizon iPhone?
The first reason is to relieve the strain on AT&T! If Verizon offered the iPhone it's estimated that AT&T would lose about 30% of it's current iPhone base over to Verizon. That means about 30% less strain on the network for the rest of us who are staying. Less strain in theory would mean faster data and less data outages for the remaining customers.
The second and perhaps bigger reason is that it would force AT&T to be more competitive. I find the latest pricing tactics to be a bit "monopolistic inspired." First they remove the unlimited data plans about a month after the iPad shipped, which removed the flexibility of switching back and forth between unlimited and limited data plans as needed. Then they added a $20/month charge for iPhone tethering that just doesn't make sense as there is no technical reason to justify a higher charge. If you're already on a LIMITED Data Pro plan, which maxes out at 2GB/month, why do you have to pay an additional $20/month to use that same data via a laptop? In essence it's a "just because we can" charge. So perhaps if iOS devices were also available on Verizon there would be more of a price war going on between the two that would make it better for all of us.
So whether you hate AT&T or love AT&T, having the iPhone on multiple US carriers is a good thing for everyone.
Assuming your contract was up or you weren't under any current obligation to stick with your provider: