Someone commented that if MetroPCS made roaming free then their high rate would be justified.
But, you see, MetroPCS is a wholly different breed of cellular service...and this is why they can get away with 49-79 cent roaming charges...
MetroPCS (and Cricket Communications, as well as some local carriers' plans) uses CDMA 1xRTT towers to make as much voice bandwidth available as possible, then sells unliomited plans on their towers, and their towers only (thus no roaming charges etc.) for a prie that is actually quite good. If you're going to use the phone like a cheapo landline (no voicemail etc.) then you pay only a little more than what you'd pay for a landline. If you want all the features and long distance you'll be paying about $50 a month...not bad for a phone you can take with you.
But you can't take your landline out of the house very far, and likewise MetroPCS can only offer unlimited service on their own towers, because roaming rates are high.
And the reason Metro has such expensive roaming is they probably buy the minutes nearly piecemail from the other carriers to keep costs low (and thus keep plans cheap). Besides, most people with Metro phones rarely travel out of the Metro coverage area, even though it's pretty small.
Personally, if you have MetroPCS in your area and don't mind paying the unsubsidized cost of the phone you're going to buy and don't travel much, then you'll get a really good deal compared to another, normal, postpaid plan (Metro is actually technically prepaid, and there's no contract). If you want to roam, just get a GSM Tracfone.