"While playing with my G today, I found a way to enter "safe mode" which will bypass the initial gmail signin and allow you to straight to the good stuff with out activating via google. You can also bypass the security drawing pattern.
1. Power off your device
2. While device is powering back on press and hold the "menu" key, keep holding it past the G1 and android splash screen.
Phone will boot all the way to the main screen and display "safe mode" in lower left corner.
I have confirmed that data is still fully operational and all of my downloaded programs."