Update 12/26/12: Now good until the end of 2013. 🙂
Are you still looking for a home phone solution that’s cheaper than a landline? A new startup called Obihai has started making ATA VoIP boxes that are actually easy to set up. You buy their box, add in Google Voice (GV) service, plug in a normal landline phone, and it will use GV to make and receive phone calls. No computer required.
Now, Google Voice/Gmail has promised free long distance within the US and Canada for the rest of
2011 2012. Past that, it’s unknown so I wouldn’t want to commit too much money upfront, even though the box is compatible with other VoIP providers.
They also offer number porting from cell phones now for $20. If you have a landline phone number you wish to port over, you’ll have to port it over to a cell phone first, and then port it over to GV. (Don’t ask me why.)
Available at Amazon, the OBi100 model is currently $43.99 with free shipping, and all you need to get yourself set up. They also have a slightly more expensive OBi110 model that allows you to bridge a traditional POTS landline with your new VoIP gadgetry, which I figure most people won’t need if the point is to save money by ditching your landline in the first place.