I’m firmly with Andy in the ‘screw you, old media’ camp, as I find it ridiculous the ways with which these companies have managed to lock consumers out of having the choice to manipulate and distribute media in the manner we so chose. For instance, it’s mind-boggling to me that, by simply making the process of creating a ringtone just outside the bounds of simple, the phone companies have created a massive money-making niche by getting people to purchase horrible sounding snippets of songs they probably already own.
Meh, to that I say: You can go the low-fi route and create your own ringtone with something like Kakophone (which is kinda cool, actually), or just end-run the bank accounts of your provider entirely by creating your own mp3 based ringtone via iTunes or Audacity.
While I’m on the subject: Here’s a fascinating look at the actual cost-per-byte of text messaging via AT&T. The final tally: Roughly $1,497.97 per megabyte.