Some phones cost $500, it depends what you want in a phone. All my phone needs to do is call people, have a phone book, and voicemail. That can't cost anywhere near $500. I would rather outright by my cheap phone and not have it subsidized by the phone company (yes I know I can go buy a one that does what I need on ebay cheap).
I'm 20 something, don't pay for texts and have then blocked on the account.