AT&T no longer forcing messaging plans onto texting phones

"It was a flat-out confusing requirement," noted Matthew Kunkle, an analyst at Current Analysis. "It was a $20 messaging or data package requirement, yet most of the data and messaging packages weren't $20, so customers had to combine two to make it past the $20 level."

AT&T now recommends that purchasers of its messaging devices also purchase an unlimited texting plan, but it does not require such plans.

They made some changes to their plans in Jan, 2011.
One of which was dumping the $5 texting plan for the minimum $10 Messaging 1000 plan

Here is their plans as they are now: