While we were in limbo for a while, Google announced through their Gmail blog that free calling using the Google Voice service will remain free to the US and Canada through 2013. Why do I care? Because about a year ago I replaced my home phone line with an OBi Talk Device that uses Google Voice as a backend. This means another year of no cost calls to anyone in the U.S. and Canada using either the Google Voice App on my iPhone, the web based service or my home phone.
I detailed the OBi setup in this post from February. I've been using the service regularly for about a year now and am still as happy as ever. The call quality is good, I haven't experienced any dropped calls or outages.Despite some initial frustration with the setup (more a result of my complex setup than anything else) I've been able to ditch my VOIP landline and enjoy a year of free calls for the cost of the $40.00 box, less than the cost of 2 months of phone service.
Of course, there's alway the question of "how free is free?" With Google there's always the concern of how they're subsidizing the "free" service by giving their advertisers access to you. I haven't seen or heard any ads using the Google Voice service, but they're paying for it somehow.