Here the best coverage is Verizon & Alltel. AT&T is a bit behind around here especially if you get away from the main highways. Not horrible mind you, just not as good.
I could have gotten the iPhone 4 for 99 cents, but after looking and thinking about the differences, I wanted the iPhone 5 because it is the only one that does 4G/LTE.
Since I don't use data on the Iphone for anything but corporate business speed does not matter, which by the way is a corporate policy of mine. As far as coverage, phones are issued to employees depending on where they are located and which service has the best coverage.
As far as personal, again same policy, email is the primary use, have not need of streaming music, video or updated a socials site every time I or someone around me takes a breath. functionally outside of tiered data connection there is no required functionality between the 5 and the 4/4s so no need to spend the money for the latest tech toy