If you are considering renting a phone for international use try www.mobal.com.
You can buy a phone that works all over the world with no monthly fees from them for $49.00 including delivery. By minute rates are fairly high, but if you only plan to use it only occassionally it is a good deal. The only thing free is incoming SMS messages.
We used this in Italy. They delivered it promptly and it worked in all the areas in Italy we were and in Switzerland. It was great to have the phone as a fall back where people could reach us even with the high per minute rates.