OK, I was bored so I decided to go to the drugstore and see how easy it is to buy a prepaid phone. So I got a 10 dollar tracfone, it's a simple motorola phone, color screen, and you load it up with a fastcard.
So I go in, I had 35 dollars on me, and I got the phone, a 20 dollar card (60 "units" value) and a mountian dew. I got home, and got the phone activated in a few minutes. It came with 10 units free with activation. (1 unit = 1 minute, and a text message uses .3 units) I did have to call a number to activate it. I guess if I was trying to do something secret with the phone, I could use a pay phone. It did ask for a secondary number and a zipcode, but like I said if I was on the run or something i'd say the payphone number and the payphone zipcode. It took like 5 minutes to get the phone working, then the rest is really easy actually. Theres a place in the phone where you can enter the code on that 20 dollar card that I bought, I entered it and in about a minute it added my minutes.
So basically it's a easy to buy phone, easy to load up minutes, and since its so cheap you can just throw it away when you need to. I will be buying one for my cousin (he is 12, and has no cellphone) he already knows alot about fast cards, since he uses them for points on maple story.
So it's a good phone for your kids or if you need to have a phone quick. Also good for vacations, when you get to your destination, just buy one and activate it at the hotel phone, then do whatever you want to with it afterwards.