Okay, so you get to help me figure this out. I definitely need some help. Currently, I am using my cell phone from Chicago that uses Cingular for service. In Chicago, Cingular is a TDMA network while in New York they are on a GSM network. This means that I get spotty and confusing service while in the city. I need to get a new phone because my current phone has a totally pooped battery, a dying screen and a dying speaker. I am pretty sure I'm going to get the Sony Ericsson t610/616 (same phone, two names), but it might not make the most sense given the cost ($200-300). Also, my contract with Cingular is not up until November.

Now the problem is that if I get another Cingular phone here in NYC then I have to get a new number and use Cingular's horrible GSM network (from what I've heard). The number wouldn't be a big deal if I wasn't planning on moving back to Chicago in a year.

So, I have come up with a few options. Please pick the one you think is best.

1. Buy the t616 from Cingular for $200 (I think, might be $300) here in NYC. This means I will have to deal with the crappy service and number changing issue. I don't really like this option or any option that includes buying something from Cingular NY.

2. Buy the t616 from Cingular in Chicago. I would keep the same number but I would be forced to deal with the network problems I've been having since my phone will be built for a different network.

3. Buy the t610 unlocked for $300 here in New York and sign up for a one year plan with T-Mobile. This means I would have to continue to pay my contract at Cingular until November and would still be forced to get a new number. The bonus is that I would have good service in both cities and the phone is unlocked so I could use it with another carrier in a year.

4. Buy a cheap/free phone from Cingular in Chicago and deal with the problems until I get back home in a year. This way, I'll be in the same situation I have no but will have a fully functional phone. On the downside, I'll have a phone that will not have all the features I have waited months for. This is the safe option.

So I'm sure there are other options but those are the ones I came up with. I think my current order of preference is 2,4,3,1. Tell me what you think. PLEASE!