According to the original poster in the above thread, they are free now or at least were when he, and I, ordered several days ago.
Message was edited by: jim1348
It's all apparently in who you approach and how.
If you're nice and ask and such, you may be able to get it for free. More likely at a T-Mobile corporate store than a franchise.
The max you should have to pay is ten bucks (that's the MSRP listed on T-Mobile's web site for SIMs). If a store is saying pay more, bring up that piece of information. Don't let them bully you into paying that.
(And, if the web site says they're free [as they currently do], try to get the store to give it to you for free. If they don't buckle into something that's reasonable for you [whether you're ok with the ten bucks, or absolutely must have it free], go to a different store. I would suggest Customer Care, but I think there's a shipping charge that would happen, making it about the same cost as if going to a store and spending the ten bucks -- but, there's no harm calling and asking)