Okay, amid the time when I should be doing other things I was surfing Pocket's website...and they are not only coming out with service in the Rio Grande valley in less than a week but they now have roaming! Granted, it's expensive and still rather limited (Verizon's own network outside of Pocket's service area is the only coverage) but hey, it means that your phone will now work wherever you are as long as you're on Pocket or Verizon's towers.
The disadvantage? Well, first off you're using a credit card (or an American Roaming Network prepaid card) off of Verizon's own towers anyway, and you can't receive calls that way, and on Verizon's towers you're limited to calling, including I think call waiting and 3-way calling, and contacting 611 or paying up your account via phone. And receiving calls. And yes, it's expensive: 59 cents a minute.
Granted, this is cheaper than MetroPCS's more expensive rate, but I'm thinking that MetroPCS's roaming-on-Verizon rate is 49 cents a minute...:(
So the really great thing here is being able to make calls using the American Roaming Network with s imple PRL update and an airtime card purchase...at $30 you can get 25 cent per minute calling, at $20 you get 33.3 cents, and at $10 you get $1 a minute (ech). But refills after the first one are 25 cents a minute flat, so that's good. And ARN has people on it like Alltel so you're bound to get coverage that way...
So I'd say that it's a good thing that Pocket got roaming, if only becuase the phones, with a simple call to *228, are now open to other networks. Hopefully though roaming rates will decrease and real fun will begin ;)