Make sure you get a phone that is "unlocked". This way you can insert a local SIM card while abroad and maintain a local tel. number. I would advise agaimst getting a contract from Cingular as you will be locked in for 2 years and will be paying monthly fees even when you are abroad. A cheaper way may be to buy an unlocked phone from a vendor and get pay as you go minutes from any carrier that offers it.
Today I received an eMail from Palm and now they are selling an unlocked version of their Treo 650 to the public. I suppose if you wait a bit longer you will be able to buy the Razr V3 directly from Motorola.
Also I expect the prices to come down in the next several months.