I'm not sure what all the anti-communications is about. shrug -- to each her own.
Louise and I carry radios, and have for years. We use GMRS (we're licensed, though) during the early part of the event, but eventually FRS users overwhelm the available channels, and it gets close to unusable. We don't hear many people on MURS, but we haven't found radios that are cheap enough to buy a pair of. We have some spread spectrum radios, but we don't like them -- cheap crap, I'm sorry to say. We haven't tried handheld CB radios. We are licensed hams, so that's our fall-back. You can now get cheap crap amateur radios for around $50. I have a review of them (Baofeng radios) on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxLox-2Pku8
They're only 2 watts, but 2 watts is what we use on GMRS and that covers the playa. You do have to have your amateur license to use one, so if you don't want a license, you're pretty much stuck with FRS or MURS.
The issues with radio are the playa, the playa, and the playa. The powder gums up whatever moves in the radio: buttons, knobs, and such. The static electricity can fry the innards and cause some problems which may require removing the battery and waiting a few seconds to let the charge dissipate. The sun wreaks havoc on the display. My suggestion is to buy a handful of cheap FRS radios and have back ups when one fails.
The people who never wear watches make me laugh -- they're the ones constantly asking me, "Oh! You've got a watch! What time is it?" And the people without radios see mine, assume I'm a ranger, and ask me if I can call for help for them. Fortunately, I carry a MURS radio, and I _can_ call for help for them.
You can get your amateur license very easily, by the way -- your whole group can. There's a quick test that multiple choice, the answers and questions are freely available online, Morse code is not required. Download the questions and answers, memorize, take a test (there's a fee of maybe 15 or 20 dollars), and order a few Baofengs, and you'll have adequate comms on the playa and off. I highly recommend getting licensed. I review two other more better handheld amateur radios here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgoUHffL2sY
and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOZZ4qpAEYo
They're more expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Good luck and have fun. There's a group of hams on the playa, and you can join their noontime net if you want to and you have a watch. :->