Since Katrina has left our area devastated, cellular communications has been our lifelines for most. Cingular is horrid and over loaded during this crisis, after one month their service is spotty at best and getting a call out or in is truly a challenge. Rumor around town is Verizon and Nextel were tops during and since the disaster. I am mainly asking about Nextel due to the direct connect walkie talkie feature since this seems to be the most reliable service here. Please post your feedback on this carrier and their services. In case some don't know, it seems Nextel and Sprint have merged...not sure how that will impact the service, but post your thoughts on both. Also, any tips on what plans seem to be the best value going. PLMK-Thanks!