No. of Recommendations: 2
I'm a little late here, but it wouldn't be the first time.

The phone device I want is in my house and intercepts the call. It asks the caller to enter (via the keypad) a code number in order to complete the call.

Of course this number is only available to friends, etc...

You can accomplish some of this with Vonage, which gives you caller ID for free along with the $25 monthly fee. (Also conferencing, call waiting, etc. And you can keep your current number, or have another number - even another area code - if you like. [One neat trick: I can live in Tennessee and have a "local" number in Pennsylvania where my parents live. Cool.])

One of the Vonage features allows call blocking from people who have blocked numbers themselves, as most telemarketers do (they don't want you calling back.) Instead those calls get shunted off, either to your voice mail or to a robot greeting saying "We don't accept these calls. Get lost." Well, more polite words, but that's the message.)

We have a Vonage line, because we were spending $20-$25 a month on long distance (even with a cheapo carrier) on our AT&T service anyway, so now we have two. The only downside is that a Vonage line won't carry fax tones (although you can upgrade to one that will), but there are ways around that.

Finally, maybe the easiest way (again with caller ID) is to get a cordless phone set. I have a Uniden package with one base station and 3 remote handsets. The caller ID shows up on every handset, and I can program in up to 100 people in the "directory". I can likewise program in a "custom ring" for those people (different rings for different folks), so just from the ring I can tell if it's the wife, or my folks, or somebody unknown calling - and I know from across the room without even having to get up and look at the handset.

A few cordless sets (Panasonic, I think) now have "audible" caller ID. You program in your friends, and when a call comes in and the number is recognized, the machine chirps "Incoming call: John Smith". You can see any of these features on the shelves of Staples or Office Depot right now. Take a look, then think about buying from the liquidators on eBay, who take the "returned product", test it, and shovel it out the door, sometimes for half-price of the retail product.
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