This thread reminds me of Kanye West's Good Morning.
Look at the valedictorian,
Scared of the future...
Scared to face the world,
Complacent career student,
Some people graduate, but we're still stupid
If carrier doesn't provide service in a particular then they are not meeting your needs as a customer. That should be enough to waive the ETF. It's what I've read on forums. Keep in mind that some carriers will actually required documentation that you are moving to a place where they don't provide service.
Scuffing is not really a big deal IMO. I went into a Sprint store yesterday to check it out and didn't see any scratches or scuffs on the black model. I was expecting it to be dinged up because of the amount of people going through the store to check out the phone, but to my surprise it was in great condition.