I didn't have a contract with my old Cingular/AT&T service, nor do I have one with my new VirginMobile service. I also don't have a contract with Netscape ISP, or Dish Network. I *chose* not to take their offered contracts, and you could do the same, if you don't like being locked-in for 1-2 years.
I did the exact same thing with Comcast for internet and Dish for TV. They came at me with a contract, I declined & told them I'm definitely going elsewhere then as their competitors contracts come with more stuff. They caved.