Would love to hear others' thoughts on this, especially the opinions of folk located near/in Atlanta.

My current contract with Verizon is up, and I would like a new phone (hate mine). I've decided that I definitely want a "big kid" phone, but I'm struggling with this decision.

I'm very interested in the Samsung Epic (I love having slide-out QWERTY), which would require me to switch to Sprint. However, the iPhone is coming to Verizon in February... and while I don't LOVE Verizon, I also don't hate it, and I have good coverage. Coverage with Sprint might be iffy, though they DO have a 30 satisfaction guarantee. I MUST have a phone that will work in ATL, NYC, the bay area of CA, Fort Dodge (IA), and middle-of-nowhere GA.

Sprint would cost less on a monthly basis - $69.99 for 450 minutes, unltd text, data, and calls to other wireless numbers. There is an additional $10 charge for having a fancy 4G phone.
Right now, with Verizon, I'm paying $39.99 for 450 minutes, $5 for 250 txt messages, and have no data package. Going with the iPhone would require a data package; ultd (right now - they haven't stated pricing yet for iPhone data pkg) is $29.99/mo (even just upgrading my phone requires a data package however - minimum of $9.99/mo).
Both places I get a gov't employee discount.
Verizon has the lower-cost phone.

So what would you do/recommend? I'm really kind of leaning towards switching to Sprint, and if it doesn't work, going back to Verizon, but would love to hear thoughts.