I'd like to chime in and clear up a few things, and hopefully answer some questions as well as dispell some inaccuracies.
First, Straight Talk does sell phones that are on other carriers, renamed of course (known as 'aka' or 'also known as' phones), and may charge more for them. But cuz that same contract-carrier phone WITHOUT signing or extending your contract and you'll pay double or much more! Example: Galaxy S3 with 2-year contract at verizon is about $199.00...without contract it's $599.00. I think it's unreasonable to expect a pre-pay company to low-ball the price of a phone when all they're making off you, the customer, is $45.00/month, but of course they don't keep all that because Verizon isn't donating the use of their towers for free! This phone is $249.96 at Walmart, which is very reasonable considering I have NO CONTRACT to worry about and I can buy a new phone whenever I choose. And $249 is what most new phones cost on contract carriers WITH a new or re-newed 2-year contract! And lets not forget the huge phone bills that come with those contracts! And the phone that someone posted a pic of, the one for $349, that's the Samsung Galaxy SII which is a GSM device and runs on AT&T which is not as good coverage as Verizon.
Now here is some other info that might answer some questions and address some concerns. This phone does NOT have a dual-core processor, but it's a 1Ghz processor and it's fast. You want better? Sign that contract and enjoy the huge monthly bill for the next two years, and if you want an early upgrade you can happily pay $500-$600 for the phone. Yes, they 'dumb down' the 'aka phones' for pre-pay, but it's a small sacrifice that is barely noticeable unless you just HAVE to have the latest and greatest...in which case you wouldn't be reading this in the first place. Having said that, I'm in the category of wanting the best, but also rational enough to realize that my truck payment trumps a phone bill of equal 'ouch' factor.
This phone (aka LG L7 P700, LG L86C, and from what I've been told, also the LG Splendor) is simply awesome for what it's got, what it does, and what it costs! It DOES run off Verizon's network and THAT is NOT dumbed-down, you get the same exact service as those paying for their monthly contract. I've heard people say that if the network is busy it will drop pre-pay users in favor of contract users, but this is completely false. In fact, from the very mouth of Verizon, their network cannot tell the difference!
Someone also asked if this would be an upgrade from a Proclaim...um...HELL YEAH! In fact, I did just that, up til two weeks ago I had the Samsung Proclaim. Grew tired of the tiny screen, no flash on camera (not even auto focus either), and it was just too basic for my liking. It served it's purpose of getting me off of Verizon's contract but keeping ON their network, so it is a great starter phone, but when I saw this in my Walmart, I couldn't whip out my wallet fast enough.
I actually went into Walmart to buy the Samsung Showcase (aka Samsung Fascinate), but this had replaced it, and while initially upset (huge Samsung fan here!), I quickly got over it when I opened the front flap and saw the size of this thing and read the description...5mp camera with flash and auto-focus, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, front facing camera, unlimited phone book entries and so much more that wasn't even listed on the package, one of notable mention is that this WILL record HD video (1280X720 aka 720p).
I was the second to buy this on the first day it was put out on the peg (the guy in electronics didn't think my small-town Walmart would even sell one, let alone both on the same day and subsequently can't keep them in stock!) Feb 23rd, so I've had it two weeks now and I can't put it down. I've honestly never been happier with any other mobile device ever. To me, this is worth every penny, and for $45/month it's a dream! It's very well built, very slim (.3"), huge screen, and nice display. The display would be REALLY awesome were it a AMOLED type like Samsung (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode), but would probably cost more.
My overall rating on this phone is a 10, based on features, function, performance, ease of use, quality, design, look and feel...all for $45 a month. I doubt anyone would be disappointed.