AT&T is now offering iPhone 3G 8GB iPhones for $99 with a new 2 year service contract or a 16GB model in White or Black can be had for $199. Is it really worth the risk? That's one of those questions that always ends with... that depends.
AT&T refurbished devices are described by the company as, "Previously owned devices that have been unused or lightly used and returned during the 30-day trial period." The company makes every effort to reveal that, "Some refurbished iPhone 3G devices will have minor scratches."
I hate to be Buzz Killington, but the possibility of enjoying some other dude's scratches out of the box is a deal breaker for me. If 'new' is not an issue for you, then saving $100 in hard cold cash may be the right ghetto deal. The other huge downside here is AT&T's limited 90 day warranty which falls miles short of Apple's standard one year warranty protection. Is the savings really worth a device fail 95 days after purchase?
In many cases Apple has been willing to stand by an iPhone 3G fail with full replacement according to numerous reports we've received. Those positive reports have been with Apple purchased devices inside of the one year warranty. AT&T may not be so accommodating.
My vote is that the risk of a refurbished AT&T iPhone 3G will cost you more money and heartache over the long haul, far outweighing your joyous up-front savings. Especially since you will be locked in for 2 years if you're iPhone 3G hits epic fail. Purchase your iPhone at Walmart or Best Buy to save a few bucks or just hold out for the new iPhone nano. I suggest steering clear of this loser.