I tether/hotspot my phone (which has the "unlimited everything" plan) when my main internet goes out, and while its slow (and becomes super slow when they throttle your "unlimited" internet after a day or so of such usage) it is at least some sort of connectivity rather than none. Except the other day when I needed the backup internet (because Time Warner Road Runner sucks several bags of d, but that's another story) lo and behold I see I am with no notice completely blocked from using my device as a hotspot, and need to pay $15/mo more (on top of the total $100/mo I'm already paying for my phone) to be able to use my phone. In short, the only unlimited access I had was to a single webpage - the webpage where T-mobile is asking me to pay yet more money to receive services I already should have, and anyway will never have even if I pay them the extra fee, since they limit the "unlimited" no matter what.
Anyway, as a long-time JRE listener I remembered their Ting promo, and since I already have been thinking of getting the Galaxy S3 one way or another, I went to http://rogan.ting.com and did the deed.
Here is the package I received, and its contents.
I noticed an absence of Ting branding/promo in the package, and instead Sprint branding (Ting uses the Sprint network, after all) and that's actually fine by me. The phone itself is awesome, of course. Although I can tell I'm going to miss the slide-out keyboard I've grown accustomed to in the HTC myTouch (and the G2 before that and the G1 before that) I got to admit, the screen and overall user-facing area is bigger and sweeter, while being thinner and, apparently, lighter (yes, with the battery loaded) It uses the same usb-ish plug (microusb?) to charge/tether, so I quickly got to charging it.
Logging into Ting, the ESN/MEID (phone identification thingy) was autofilled from the device that was shipped to me (its also on the internal packaging if I needed to type it in) so I just clicked through a bunch of times, entered my existing phone number to port, and Chrome auto-filled the rest of the stuff. Except that I had to log in to t-mobile (yeech, what a bloatware site compared to Ting) to get my account number out of there (and to click through way too many screens to estimate my monthly usage for the Ting plan)
After setting up the plan on Ting's website and following something like 2 steps to port my existing number, the background porting process took about 2 hours to complete. When it was completed, the email I got from Ting said it might take another 24 hours, but after going through the activation steps (2 in total I think) the phone was immediately and fully functional :D
The plan that matched my usage on T-mobile comes out to $33/mo. I'm eager to see how happy I am with Ting in a couple months time, what my actual usage and monthly cost comes out to be, and if there are any hiccups what-so-ever. But so far - I'm glad I switched!
2013 Update: Ting delivered on its promise. I've been tethering with no problems, and am paying 1/3 to 1/2 of what I was with T-mobile for the same services (depending on monthly usage)