I love my iphone 4s. It has siri (she is a voice who tells you the weather and alerts you of meetings and stuff!) and it is really fun to mess with her. The iphone 4s stores a lot and it has a touch screen which is always nice. The apps are great. Mine right now is acting funny but that's only because I dropped it :/ I mean it has flaws like every other phone but it is really cool and productive. It is organized well and is easy to use. It is more expensive but worth every penny!
I can't name WHAT phone to get because whenever they have a contract, anything is possible. Instead, you can either go to the store you're buying the phone at and ask precise questions about the phone you want as well as the contract OR do some major digging for reviews and how well that phone works for other customers.
That's the best way I feel you can go.
Deffinitly, go with cricket. Cricket will probably have the best options of phone as low as 30 $ a month. 30$ a month includes unlimited texting and phone calling. 40$ a month offers everything unlimited. You cant get any better. They have really nice phones too, like the Huawei mercury. its just like the iphone but better, i beleive anyway.
Well, I use boost mobile and it has no contract haha, but it's a pretty good company with nice phones as well! It's really easy to pay monthly and my family loves it! Don't know if that was any help. :D
Also, great contract plan! My whole family has it!