First smart phone was a iPhone 4 since there were no android devices for me to fondle in the store, and hte iPhone was hte best at being "just a phone".

Apple has officially made me mad too many times now, so I'm thinking it is time for a new phone and it should probably be Android based since I only have one Windows machine (at work, hardly use it, use my Linux desktops and laptops 99.9% of the time).

I use my phone as a phone, for text messaging, and listening to music. Occasional web browsing, mostly text only sites (reading books online).

What I don't want is a ton of carrier installed apps and crap - and I'd like as much control as possible over my device. On a family contract from AT&T, so I'm stuck there, but I currently qualify for an upgrade. Don't want to spend more than $100 for phone/activation/etc.

So... what phone, and what ROM ? Buy from AT&T or 3rd party? I have other Android devices (B&N Nook Color w/ cyanogen, WM8650 based laptop w/ uberoid) but neither of them are phones.