If you're looking into opening a fresh account with AT&T and purchasing an iPhone, there's some good news: you don't have to drive to the Apple or AT&T store. According to Engadget, Apple has started taking orders for direct shipments of iPhone 3G's.
The new customers must allow AT&T to run a credit check on them via the internet. Customers are then prompted to select a rate plan, along with all other details, and receive their iPhone 3G in the mail over a standard shipping period. Existing customers must still find their way to a physical location.