Well, a couple of points really made me laugh (at Verizon)... distribution and device support. Perhaps they haven't heard, but they're a cell carrier, not a phone manufacturer. And in the GSM world, people buy and trade phones without their cell carrier having any idea about it (moving SIMs between phones). So, Apple's model basically suggests that they wanted more control over the distribution and support of the device itself. Perhaps their approach was more in line with the GSM approach all along. *shrug*
I'm somewhat surprised that Apple would have seen this as Cingular *or* Verizon decision, though, since CDMA/EVDO wouldn't have given them the ability to sell (or use) their device globally. Having Verizon would simply have given them much better penetration in the US (mostly). It's a bit early to say whether Verizon missed the boat here, but I think it's fair to say they've been missing the boat on a lot of sexy device releases of late. Perhaps this will be just another.