Difference between cell phone brands?

I’m thinking about getting a pair of cell phones for me and my wife, finally. Is there much of a difference in quality between the different brands as to quality of phones, signal and service?

Here in Houston, I’ve seen signs for Nextel, Cingular, Verizon, and I’m sure others which I can’t remember off the top of my head…

-FrL-

Hmm, I think you’re more concerned about providers (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc) instead of brands (Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia, Ericsson, etc).

I only have experience with one provider: Verizon (I’m in metro Detroit). I haven’t had a problem with them (except for a “technician” I’m going to be ranting about in the Pit soon) in terms of the service. I’ve only once had an incident where I had no coverage whatsoever, and that was in the middle of a mall with tons of lights and everything above me. As soon as I left the store it was fine. They have a good coverage map as well. The only downside is that their prices are generally a bit more than the others because of their status.
Oh, and as far as brands go, anyway: I would recommend NEVER getting a Motorola. I’ve had problems with mine (soon to be brought to light in that Pit thread coming soon), and other people I know who had different models/styles have had similar problems (difficulty charging or holding a charge, overheating, etc).