It is like any other deprecation. We survived the deprecation of AMPS and TDMA. We will survive the deprecation of iDEN. Then we'll have the deprecation of GPRS/EDGE/GSM and EV-DO/CDMA.
Sometimes we lose a feature with a deprecation. When there was AMPS I could use both the A-side and B-side cellular carriers in my area via roaming. AMPS went away, so did the ability of my Verizon phone to roam on AT&T - so I lost some coverage. For me the advantages of the newer technologies outweigh the disadvantages anyway.
Back in the day, I was a nextel customer and it was great.
Sometimes market demand isn't large enough to support something. One of the side effects of free enterprise is that when something isn't growing and profitable it dies. Nobody is intentionally screwing anyone. It is all just an attempt to increase profits. If the government really cared, there would have been money to maintain the network. Just make it key to the war on drugs or the war on terror, and the money will flow.
"I didn't get fat by accident. This was a personal choice. " - Kevin Gillespie