Okay in case I lost you above here are the options in short.
1) Wait until the Fascinate is updated and pay $15/$20 additionally a month.
2) Root/ROM your phone.
3) Convince your friends husband to give you access
4) Do nothing.
Your summary made laugh. I wondered if it would be a beastly process and now I'm quite sure I won't do all that. I've researched rooting my phone and see it is very complicated. I'm don't really understand the whole ROM thing (and I know there's a clockworkmod thing too). My brain kinda shuts off when I start reading about all those options. Sounds ridiculous, but it took me 2 weeks to get up the nerve to root my NC...
This forum is very helpful but I'm a strong visual learner and it's hard to do things I've never done before - and don't really understand - from only written descriptions.
For the life of me, cannot figure out what Samsung's deal is with getting 2.2 on Galaxy phones...and to be honest I'm not willing to pay the extra $20 for the feature to tether. Just because it's a smart phone I already have to pay extra, but I do get unlimited access for web/downloads, texting and minutes and that's enough for me.
As far as my friend's husband...well, I'm not holding my breath but I'm going to approach him about access one more time.