In the first step towards a fully unlocked iPhone (for those of us living outside of the USA) DVD Jon, also known as Jon Lech Johansen, has reverse engineered and published a method for activating an iPhone without AT&T. Mind you this will allow you to use your iPhone as a surfing device (via wifi) or an iPod only, but it’s a clear indication that clever people are working on this. I will point out that Jon’s method, while reported to work, is not all that simple, nor does it work from a Mac without using Parallels or other virtualization software. There may also be a real threat of bricking your iPhone so I would hold off on something safer coming soon before jumping the gun with this hack.
I found a detailed list of alternative iPhone activation methods fully detailing Jon’s method for those willing to try. Hat tip to Infinite Loop. I also see the Register picked this up yesterday when it broke.