A few years ago, Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley (an industry leader in using sustainably grown foods) started serving filtered tap water and house-aerated sparkling water in lieu of bottled water. Make Alice Waters proud and use re-purposed clear wine bottles (soak off the label first) as water carafes; just fill with cold water from your Brita.
A few more ideas for simple, stylish carafes:
The Beaker Glass Pitcher from CB2 is budget-priced and also works well as a vase.
The design of Royal VKB`s French Carafe Set is inspired by the famous French Picardie glassware and is designed to allow the glasses to stack neatly in the neck for easy carrying to the outdoor table. The carafe and four glasses come together.
For prices and other carafe ideas see 10 Easy Pieces: Water Carafes at Remodelista.