The iPhone 3G activation saga is quite confusing. Most people think that Apple and AT&T will require iPhone activations on the spot, thereby cutting into a big part of the unlocked iPhone phenomenon. However, this AP report suggests that there will be a way for people to get unactivated iPhones, the only catch being AT&T will slap a penalty on you if you don't activate your iPhone within 30 days. The amount of the penalty, or how AT&T will even know who you are since your iPhone wasn't activated, is unclear.
Let's hope that all this confusion clears up a little closer to the iPhone 3G's release. Thanks, Daniel.