Hey, guess what? Vonage works!
What is Vonage? It is a phone service which uses your Internet connection instead of phone lines. Why is this interesting? For $40/month you get unlimited calling anywhere in the US and Canada.
You pay a one-time fee of $60, and this little box arrives in the mail. You plug it into your network, plug any old 'phone into the back of it, and poof! Dial tone!
Vonage assigns you an ordinary local number for inbound callers (you can even transfer your existing number, but I didn't do this), and includes all the bells and whistles; caller id, call waiting, call forwarding, voicemail, etc. Very cool. So far the voice quality seems excellent; there is a slight "digital delay" but no worse than say a digital cell 'phone.
I think this is going to be BIG. It may be a slight incremental hassle, but the hassle is one-time, and it saves people money - real money - and that is a significant draw. Quite different from cool services which provide some value but cost money. Joe sixpack is going to be all over this.