Amen, Brother Karl!
I just moved back to the USoA from Germany. Germany is hardly the model of honest public servants and sterling ethics in corporations (just look at the recent Siemens scandal). However, they do have some amount of competition in delivering broadband internet and phone service.
For about 45 Euro ($65 nowadays) a month, I got flat-rate voice phone service to the entire country (no long distance charges) plus 16 Mb down / 1 Mb up ADSL service from the former monopoly, Deutsche Telekom. If I had bothered to shop around, I could have gotten cheaper.
Back in the States now, I can get 7 Mb / 896Kb ADSL from the local Baby Bell (no voice service included) for about $80 a month -- less service for more money. Such a deal.