The previous poster, Thought, pretty much said it perfectly. Verizon is expensive and has crappy phones. But if you need to make a call with 99% success Verizon is the only choice. I've had sprint, cingular and now t-mobile.
Without talking about them all, I can say Thought is correct. I live in Los Angeles/Hollyood and travel all over southern CA - and all companies here but Verizon will have areas of poor reception.