Everything you have said sounds correct, although I am not sure is a quad-band phone is already 'unlocked'. The best way to find out is ask some tech person or the store's technical support people.
Yes it is ridiculous to pay $2/minute or more while using a US carrier while abroad. I know of people that buy a SIM card when they go abroad (a prepaid one) and then they just switch the SIM card. Of course, if you do that you have a local number, so you would have to supply others of a new number while traveling abroad. Most businessmen have 2 or more cell phone on their business cards, indicating that they have a SIM card in the country where they visit often.
The only drawback might be, if you don't renew your prepaid SIM card often, you may have to get a new SIM card with a new number when you travel abroad.
If you are going for a short stay, depending on how much you will use your phone, a local number might not make sense.
I spend 3-4 months every year overseas where they use the GSM system.Reading the forum I got very useful information concerning the use of my USA phone in overseas. I understand that I sould have an unlocked GSM phone accomadating a quad mode operation. Cingular has such phones ( like the new Razr V3 and an other older one) and I was told that a quad phone is already unlocked. From the forum I understand that when I go to overseas I change the SIM card with a loval one having either a pay- as- you -go -along or a monthly plan. My first question is that did I understand evrything right? Secondly, do I have to pay extra per minutes for call overseas with the Cingular plan? Verizon has a global phone but if you make a call overseas you charged close to two dollars per minute in addition to your plan which is absolutely ridiculous since one can get a local phone there and pay much less! Please advise me what is the best way for me to solve this problem. As I mentioned of course I can get another phone there but wouldn`t it be nicer if I can use my own phone in both places with the expense of getting a SIM card in the country of question and get a plan extra to my Cingular plan.
Thank you all.