The best gadget I bought in 2008 is ooma.
Ooma is a VoIP phone that doesn't charge monthly subscription fees. I used to pay $27.95 a month for a local only land line + caller id + other government fees and taxes. Now I pay zero and get unlimited domestic calls within US. I am looking to recoupe the cost in about 9 months.
If you need to make oversea calls, you can purchase credit from ooma. The cost is comparable to skype.
If 911 support is important to you. According to http://www.ooma.com/learn/ooma_faq.php#q8, ooma supports e911.
I am very happy with ooma. Setup is straightforward; sound quality is great; and virtual voice mail allows me to listen to voice mails remotely.