The Verizon CDMA network isn't an *old* beater network. Its still one of the most advanced technologies running in the US.
You don't KNOW when they are getting 3G, for god sakes it might be by the time Verizon has finished LTE. Just because the network is called HSPA+ doesn't mean JACK. I keep bringing this up, but my market in Metro Atlanta has one of the worst congestion problems.
WE HAVE HSPA+ already, its already been launched a long time ago. They aren't launching any new radical HSPA+, and our speeds are horrific. They get slower than EDGE during peak times. Hence why they went directly to LTE. As data usage increases, having a technology that peaks at 73mbit/s deployed at 10x10, is a lot more efficient than a tech that finishes at 21.1mbit/s
Also your area really ISN'T likely to get much faster because YOU ALREADY HAVE HSPA+. It's been deployed in Philly so speeds are probably going to stay the same until LTE comes out. If you are only getting about 3-4mbits on the iPhone then you probably wouldn't get too much faster with an HSPA+ handset in real world situations.
You probably don't use a large amount of data on your iPhone and probably haven't experienced LTE yet so you will so.
AT&T isn't at a huge advantage, because at this point they still have less HSPA+ than Verizon's LTE. And at Verizon's expansion rate, the same areas with AT&T you will be in HSPA+ you will have Verizon LTE.
Verizon's marketing isn't just *Hype* because they are actually somehow fulfilling their promises unlike AT&T.
All these areas you would fall back to EVDO on Verzion now, you would likely be falling back to regular AT&T 3G as well. They already have over 50% of the US pops covered today, by 2012 2/3, and 2013 97%.
For all we know AT&T could still have big areas of EDGE only and slow HSPA+ by then.