I don't really want to waste any time researching about this because I fucking hate them and want as little as possible to do with this entire industry.
Definitely not anything Apple. I abolutely don't want to deal with any headaches of doing funny OS flashes or anything nonstandard that will complicate my life.
I'm thinking Google Nexus 5 because I understand it's the most minimal pure android ; I hate dealing with bloatware. I've already spent more time on this than I would like to. I actually prefer something smaller and lighter since I will only use it in emergencies. Galaxy S5 Mini? Not actually significantly smaller. Jesus christ.
It looks like "Straight Talk" is probably the right plan option for someone like me who will rarely use it. (?). I can't use anything T-Mobile because their coverage sucks around Seattle. Too bad because they seem to have the best pay-go plans.
One thing I have no idea about is how much bandwidth I need and whether paying per byte is okay or if I'll be fucked. If I accidentally browse to some web page that spews data at me, will that cost me a fortune? I don't like the idea of having to worry about that.