Apple has zero incentive to make life easier on those switching carriers to budget carriers. Nothing bizarre or pointless about that. For every guy like you, there's 100 others who will never switch over. This keeps Apple partners like AT&T very happy. Also less support load for apple geniuses.
Well, that all depends on what Apple's internal corporate culture's value system is, doesn't it? If they want to continue to give off the impression that the end-user is their direct customer and that they prize that end-user's experience above all else, then they need to distance themselves from things like this.
I think that Apple has worked very hard to cast this image of themselves as the champion of the end-user. If that's the case, then they need to start proving it with mobile devices like the iPhone, which occupies a market segment where users have traditionally not been regarded as much more than pawns. I feel as though Apple here is treating this situation like their ongoing business relationship with AT&T and other carriers is more important than satisfying the needs of their customers whenever the two are in conflict. I suspect that Apple wouldn't want that kind of press.