I've been playing with a bitcoin miner for about two weeks now.  I have generated about 0.70 BTC using my laptop's ATI graphics card.

Is BitCoin a scam? Perhaps.  But it doesn't bother me because I am in no way going to put any of my own money into buying bitcoin.   I will, however, put my computing power into generation of blocks using a pooled, gpu-accelerated mining technique.  I'm treating bitcoin as a game.  
This way, if it is a scam, I don't lose any money.  If it isn't a scam, I can probably make some sort of profit from the system.

Mining is easy, you just get a program and set some arguments to make it work properly.  I prefer the Poclbm-mod miner.  It's a GPU accelerated miner that gets work data from a mining pool server.  Why pooled mining? Because then I have to do less work to attempt to get some denomination of bitcoins.

I connect to the Eligius mining pool on the US server.

Poclbm-mod GPU miner connected to Eligius-US pooled mining server.