I just looked at the reviews on the Cabelas website. I think you should know a couple of things. SPOT recalled the original SPOT 2 in fall 2010. They released it again, and it has been extremely reliable. The negative reviews of the SPOT on the site were all from 2010. Take a look at the 2011 reviews before writing off the SPOT 2. Particularly the most recent.
Look at what people are saying on this thread, too. This is a good product that adds message functionality to a safety/PLB type function.
You could also look into PLBs, as they are less expensive over the long run and very reliable. There is no message funtion though.
Satellite phones are great, but expensive.