For callbacks to the U.S., I now use prepaid cards from NobelCom. Though the stated per-minute rate was 16 cents, the actual charge was only 10 cents. It varies by country, but was about as good a deal as I've seen.
NobelCom offers several cards. Some have connection charges and very cheap per-minute rates. Others have no connect charges and have higher, but still inexpensive, per-minute rates.
We used their Global Call from Switzerland; it works throughout Western Europe. With this card, calls are carried by the AT&T network.
Apartment in the Emmental
Hans and Ruth Kern own and operate the Berghaus in Eggiwil (CH-3537, Eggiwil, tel./fax +41/034/491 23 68). They were excellent hosts, very helpful and informative and even helped us find the farm where we believe our Swiss-American ancestor was born.
They have a summer apartment as well as bed and breakfast rooms. We used the apartment, and cooked most of our own meals in the well-equipped kitchen. The apartment costs 45 to 85 Sfr. ($27 to $51) per day, depending on season and number of guests.