It's now less than two weeks until the launch of Apple's iPhone in the UK. And if the recent release of Mac OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard) was any indication, the queues outside Apple Stores are going to be massive.

The iPhone has certainly captured the collective tech imagination. Its geeky allure is driven by Apple's slick design, the phone's smart flexibility and its innovative multi-touch UI approach.

But universal iPhone fever also speaks volumes about the poor quality of competing smartphones. Let's be honest - the iPhone isn't that good. It just looks stupendous when compared to the Nokia N95, the Sony Ericsson P1 and the HTC Touch.

As launch day approaches, who on the tech.co.uk team is willing to plunk down £269 and drop into an 18 month O2 lock-in?

"Not paying a fanboy tax"

"There are a few key reasons why I won't be buying an Apple iPhone. The main reason is that, whichever way you look at it, it's a complete rip-off.

"Why should I be forced to pay fanboy tax on a device I'm not that bothered about owning? The iPhone plus the contract will cost a minimum of £900 and in my book that's ridiculous. Spending that much on an iPhone is akin to being mugged by Apple. And that would stop me from enjoying my purchase.

"So while I'd love to own an iPhone, I'd have to surrender my self respect in order to get one. And that's something I'm not (on this occasion, anyway) prepared to do." James Rivington

"Can it withstand minor accidents?"

"I have no intention of buying an iPhone any time in the near future. When it costs less to own one, then maybe I'll think about it. But for now I want a phone I can take to the pub with me - one that doesn't mind a bit of beer every now and again and, crucially, can withstand minor (sometimes major) accidents.

"To be honest, I'd also prefer a more rounded phone - specifically 3G and a better camera; not just an iPod stuck to a phone. In short: the iPhone does look cool, but it's not for me." Julia Sagar

"A great second phone"

"On the fence I shall sit. I'm still really very undecided about what to do. My heart says 'yes', my head a definite 'no.' If I did get one, I'd need to keep my current handset, since there's no way I could have it on my all the time. Gigs or clubs certainly aren't environments I want to take a £300 handset I've paid for. I drop my current Sony Ericsson ALL THE TIME.

"The length of the contract doesn't really worry me, neither does the £35 a month. I pay close to that with Vodafone at the moment, and the lure of unlimited data and hotspot access more than makes up for the extra outlay.

"After the iPod classic launch I was thinking about buying one of those, so if I buy an iPhone instead I can even justify most of the initial cost. It requires a rather cavalier attitude to my bank account. I guess I'll let you know in two weeks time. Mind you, my current deal ends in November. Perhaps it was meant to be..." Dan Grabham

"I like buttons on a phone!"

"It's not easy for me to say it, but the iPhone is better than I thought it would be. And I don't think it's a rip-off on contract, considering what it offers.

"But I just don't need most of these features from a phone, and my price plan and choice of handset reflect that. A stripped down version might get me interested should Apple build one, but I'm happy to let the fanboys and early adopters take the lead for now.