I agree that we are all captive to one phone company for local calls. Long distance calling is another matter. I use AT&T One Rate, which may or may not be the cheapest but I'm happy with paying less than 10 cents per minute.
Cell phones seem to be much cheaper to use than the hard-wired variety. If I lived in a large city, I would consider replacing the hard-wired phone with a cell phone.
Does anyone have experience with changing over exclusively to a cell phone?