Apparently the smartphone data plans are still making waves with customers. Verizon's insistence that any new smartphone purchased must have a $30 data plan added on top of the voice plan makes plenty of people angry, and longing for the days when they could just say no and turn the data features off. Plenty of folks are planning on pursuing this with Verizon, their Congressman, Obama, etc. (see all the unhappy people in this thread) but in the end will it help? Verizon recently lowered their data rates before instituting this. In fact, the two things were done together; lower the rates and then make them mandatory for the higher-end phones. So this can be looked at as a bad thing/good thing rolled up into one. And yet, we're still paying much less than our Canadian friends.
Interestingly enough, Charles Cooper from CNET is advocating that cell carriers drop the required data plan altogether, as a way to entice people to buy those higher-priced phones. Now that seems like a good idea.