We just recently got Skype after being very wary for a very long time. I didn’t want to be tied to the computer - I could use ICQ or something for that. But we were spending $50 a month for me to call my mother in the US (from Europe) and I need a new laptop in the summer, and those are the payments, so we went for it.
Love it! But it is confusing. I don’t know about the 1800 number for business. But what we did was purchase a $60 Voice-Over-IP phone. Looks just like a regular phone. We signed up for Skype Pro, which is, I think, $3 a month. This lets us make calls to the states with the new phone for 2 cents a minute, any time day or night.
I’ve barely used that though, because with the Skype Pro, you can purchase a Skype In phone number for $20 a year. This is a local number for my mother, with her area code - she calls that with her regular house phone, a free call for her, and gets me across the ocean. It’s piped over the internet, and my computer has to be on, but hers does not (she has a wireless router though).
The quality varies. MOST of the time it is excellent. Clear as a bell. Sometimes though it echoes and crackles and drops out - we usually hang up and call back, and often get a better connection. Sometimes it’s just a bad day for it (traffic on the net maybe?)
I don’t know about the reliability when it comes to people calling you for business purposes - it doesn’t matter if my mom can’t hear half of what I’m saying, but a potential customer might get annoyed.