Base price for a 4S, off contract, is $650. So, not too far off.
As for the customer service, I'm not sure how it is internationally. If I have problems with an apple product, I can just go down to my local apple store and have them work on it. I had an original macbook and had my hard drive fail... I went down to the apple store and walked out with a new hard drive installed about an hour later. You can have pretty much anything like that done for free if you're still in warranty and it wasn't something that was directly your fault. Sometimes you can get replacements from your carrier, but you generally wont find same day service like that with other brands.
Of course, the other side to that is... Once the warranty ends, they charge a bit much for the parts and then there's the cost of labor. It's generally better if you can just do it yourself once you're out of warranty.