Nuevasync has been my alternative since hearing about it. Even through several replacements, I have my contacts synced back before I get back to the car, always live, never a lost number.
Look into it: www dawt nuevasync dawt com (won't let me post a link, darn post count. )
No jailbreaking, no install required. It syncs your gmail contacts, and events back to the phone via an exchange server. First, you simply sync your contacts to your gmail via iTunes, then set-up the exchange server (on the iPhone) as the web account registration shows you how to. It's all taken care of from there. Even a brand new phone only requires you enter the password, user name, and server info.
As an added bonus I set up my outlook at work to sync (one-way) to my gmail events via goosync. So I end up with everything on my phone, and only what my works need to know on my work calendar. That my friends is a permissions sensitive cloud solution, now; and, of course, Google's providing the interactive framework.