Thanks LL, that comparison link is useful for much more than punting!
You're right. These quick comparison sheets can potentially save hours and lots of frustration/pennies.
I've got several different unlocked phones on top of a landline and can't say I'm thrilled with any of them. Good phones are a slight liability and generally need a microsim that'snot swappable with a standard cheap-phone sim. I use usb chargers as none of them accept the same charging lead, even same-brand. The wifi and mobile reception on all of them varies - and due to the quality of the antenna, not just the network. There are still places in Scotland where you are totally fucked, whatever network. For travelling abroad, the sims are not only inconsistent (what's cheap in one country is crap in another) so I end up buying local sims, especially for calling within a country. The rates of most companies seem deliberately complex so there's as much chance of getting thebest deal as going to trainline.com. The table is 2013, but companies change their rate plans so often it's still only a rough guide. Virgin have just sent me a deal-to-beat all deals, which, like most such deals, will probably turn out to be utter shite if I search for the small print with a microscope, and Virgin don't strike me as the cheapest even if they claim to be half the price of anyone else.
I'm not a skinflint. Calls to prossies don't break the bank, and punting carefully can avoid being taken for a mug. I wish I could say the same about phone companies.
Phone companies today are the equivalent of double-glazing in the 60's: either live with the fact you will be ripped off or live with some carrier-pigeons.