I think it depends on your location.
I've used straight talk for years, they use a verizon tower in this area, We upgraded to smart phones this year using the bring your own phone program.
Customer service is not the best I've ever encountered however with a bit of patience they will get things working for you it is quite time consuming though.
Only certain phones will work with the byop program you almost need to know the esn before u buy a phone to ensure that it will work.
I have an lg g series phone and a samsung s for the wife both are nice phones and work well localy, we bought the phones from an online source.
We get fairly reliable 4g service so the landline and wifi are going to be disconnected soon, 2 nice smartphones for the same money per month as our wifi was costing us.