This link may help - it does seem to suggest that outright purchase is possible. There is no indication of whether it is locked or unlocked.
The question is how much did you pay??? No pricing information on Apple's site.
PhilD: Ok, i have read all the posts here but I have a delemer.
I have an iPhone 3G on Telecom XT network - running O/S 3 and iTunes 8.2
How do I get your icpp file onto my phone? O/S 3 iPhones requires 8.2 iTunes to work?? at least thats what it said when I connected up my phone to an iTunes 8.1