I purchased a Nokia 1100 Tracfone 2 weeks ago and so far have been very pleased with its performance (reception, sound quality, battery life etc.). It is a very basic phone with few bells and whistles, however, it meets my needs for light use talking and texting. Like you, I got it for the expanded roaming capabilities. Living in Northern New York along the Canadian border makes pre-paid coverage difficult with either Verizon or Cingular's offerrings. There are just too many coverage gaps that are filled in (here in NY) by roaming on neighboring towers in Canada. To my knowledge, Cingular's pre-pay doesn't allow this and my Verizon service has been spotty. Sometimes I can roam (at 99 cents per minute.....which is cost prohibitive) and other times the phone simply won't work.
With my new tracfone, the phone roams onto the Canadian Rogers Wireless network with ease. I can make and receive calls and am still charged only 1 unit per minute.
My only complaint with tracfone is the overall high per minute rates if you purchase your minutes "off the shelf." With wheeling and dealing (bonus minute coupons, free referral minutes, and e-bay), the actual per minute rates can be significantly lower, however, it is a pain to have to go through all of this to obtain a reasonable rate.
If you decide to get the tracfone, PM me directly and I can give you a "referral" that will get us each 100 bonus minutes for free.