Think of this first. When you upgrade that means another two years of service. Do you see yourself with Verizon for another two years? also keep in mind that the Storm is not for everyone and its not to its full potential yet. Dishing $XXX.XX for some people means that the phone better be at its optimal level. You shoudnt spend no more than 199.99 on an upgrade, maybe you can get it cheaper.
If you dont plan on being with verizon I recomend to get the phone, and avoid long term contracts. For unlocked phones, you have to be a smart shopper. I got mine from a person in craigs list. I asked questions and made sure the phone was working and it came with everything. I woudnt buy a phone that all they sell is the phone itself and nothing else. I paid $380 for mine and it came unlocked and literaly brand new. no scratches. The guy even put LCD screen protector for me. If you choose to buy any phone I recomend the seller to give u all the time in the world to visual inspect the phone and show that everything is working. I put my sim card and made sure I can make calls, recieve calls and text messages. I spend about half an hour talking to the guy asking him questions. I have used e-bay before and yeah the seller gives you 7 days to return the phone and all but why spend extra money when you can get it from a local person and look right there if there are any flaws. be sure to meet in a public place. Your gut instinct will tell you if you are getting a deal or not. I saw other posts for 300 dollars and so forth but who knows were those phones came from and only the phone itself was sold.
Last note, this phone is mainly a multimedia phone. It takes some time for you to get used to typing fast like you would on another phone. the OS that comes preinstalled in the phone sucks and there are better beta and beta hybrids. Do you feel comfortable in loading experimental software and changing software every other week? Only thing I hate is that it doesnt have Wi-Fi. The 9520 is going to be comming out soon with Wi-Fi. If you really want to buy an unlocked storm, wait for the 9520
8310, 8800, 8900, 9530, 9630