Inexpensive Substitute Phone on Verizon?

So I seem to have bad luck with my cellphones, and I need some advice.

In 2011, 6 months before my Verizon contract was up for my original Droid, the poor thing gave out. Fortunately, it was a few days until I had elapsed 18 months (talk about luck!), so I took it into the Verizon store, and they replaced it with a refurbished Droid for free. Unfortunately, being refurbished, the screen died when I dropped it 3 inches onto a carpet, confirming what they say about refurbished electronics.

To hold over until I was up for renewal, I bought a Palm Pixi Plus on Amazon for $30 off-contract (from here). It was an incredible deal, considering it was way less than an insurance policy would've been, and did an amazing variety of smartphone-y things for just $30. Also, it was new in box, and bought from a reputable seller, not some dude on Craigslist.

Anyways, when I was up for renewal, I got a Droid 3, and decided I'd do the same sort of thing I did with the Palm Pixi, if my phone died. Well, it did. The screen and backlight just started to get all wonky when I slide the keyboard out, and I have to get it in just the right position to get a full-power backlight and see what's on the screen. I'm going to SBF it and take it into the Verizon store to see if they can help me, but I'm not holding my breath.

So I want to know if anyone out there has tips for deals out there like the Pixi was for me back then. I could just buy another Pixi, but they're up to $50 now, and even more outdated, and I'm sure there's some sort of deal out there for a newer phone. It only has to last 2 months until I'm up for renewal again, at which point hopefully I can move onto a new phone (spoils of Google I/O?)