I've been using Google Voice for a while now, and it is really quite nice. It has a lot of very helpful features (click here for a list).
Google is only slowly allowing new users to get Google Voice, so that the service is not overwhelmed all at once. However, they've given me three (3) Google Voice "invitations" (like a free ticket) that I can give away to three friends. If you feel Google Voice would be handy for you, let me know. I'll try to give away my invitations to those of you who can use it best.