If you are looking for a new phone or a tablet, the smart way to shop nowadays is not to go to the carrier store, instead, do the following:
a. Visit the retail stores such as RadioShack, BestBuy, or Walmart. They offer almost all carriers' phones and other mobile devices side by side. This is very important, not price per se, but so you can feel and touch the different phones, it's especially important for people who want to compare iPad and Galaxy Tab.
b. When you are done your research, jog down the price point, don't reach to your wallet yet. Instead, go home and hit the web, typically web retailers with their lower overhead costs, can afford better prices, and no tax and shipping cost, for the same item at the brick and motar stores.
Worried about customer service and return service? That's the reason you want to shop at reputible etailers such as Amazon only.