As Servers Crash, iPhone 3G Buyers Frustrated
It seems that not only was the process taking a long time, now the servers have crashed, meaning that AT&T is sending people home unactivated. As AT&T said:
We have had reports that customers attempting to download new iTunes 7.7 software to their new iPhone may get an error message saying “page not found.” We have reported this issue to Apple. While Apple works to resolve this issue, we are asking customers to sync their newly activated phone later at home.
Don't forget, though, the phones still need to be unbricked, so it will still take longer than last year.
Update: BTW, if you want to update your original iPhone to 2.0, you might also end up with an issue because of the server problems. Recommendation: wait until this all sorts itself out.