Note 2: International vs Carrier versions (at&t,sprint...) for pre paid plan in NYC ?

Hi

I'm considering buying the Note 2 but can't wrap my head around which version to buy;
International, at&t, sprint, tmobile, verizon?

1. I'm in NYC.
2. I'd prefer to buy the device and use a prepaid plan (instead of being tied to one of the carriers).
3. I want a good Voice and Data service. Good Data service meaning a good 3g service, anything above is a plus but not a necessity for me.
4. Prepaid providers I know of: PagePlus(using verizon), VerginMobile(sprint), StraightTalk(using at&t/tmobile?).


Information, advice and reasoning would be much appreciated.
Thanks.

Also the Price: the international version is cheaper ($600 vs $700 ) than buying from the carrier.