Many smaller banks are parts of nation-wide ATM networks. It takes a little research to identify them beforehand. I am currently using an Everbank ATM card that allows you to use any ATM, and get automatic reimbursement for the fees, up to a monthly limit. Before, I used a credit union that was part of the Coop ATM network, and identified qualifying ATM locations before I went on my trip.
Not only that, but many credit unions have agreements with each other that allow you to do basic business(deposit cash/checks, withdraw, etc) at a different credit union.
I have only ever used a credit union. When I moved for graduate school, I was able to keep doing business with the same one as there were surcharge-free ATMs all over the place and half a dozen places in town where I could get counter service.
I'm glad I stuck with them. They have now expanded into my town, and even better the university where I went to grad school and am now employed has entered an agreement with them to be the "official bank." We have a full-blown branch on campus. That's not to mention that I managed to get a LOT of perks that they were offering to new members when they first moved on to campus. They recognized my 28 year loyalty to them, which they said was the longest of anyone they had dealt with in this branch, and loaded me up with all kinds of freebies.
I've never been upsold or otherwise felt like I was being forced into anything. In fact, when I've applied for loans they've often been able to do some creative juggling of the loan type to get the best interest rate or advise me to take out something that would improve my credit score. I can't be happier with how they've treated me.