With the two new phones (tne Kyocera Slider Sonic, which is incidentally not the Slider Remix, and the Audiovox Snapper, or 8915) Virgin Mobile has introduced they gave owners of these phones the gift of chat. More specifically, for $4 a month you get 150 messages on AIM, each subsequent 50-message chunk costing $1 (okay, $3.99 and 99 cents but hey). The AIM client is free. Cheaper than text? Probably. Cheap? Not really. Though you do get the first month's base 150 messages free.
Also, they have this thingamabob called Chat Park, which seems to be some sort of online community type of thing. 60 minutes of time or one week of service, again whichever comes first, is $3. OK...I'll pass on that one too.
To see for yourself go to www.virginmobileusa.com and click on Ringtones and More.