According to Federal Law, you must be able to request a free credit report once a year from the major credit agencies. The companies were required to roll this out in 4 phases. I remember the annoucements, but either I missed the news reports that they were now available in my area, or the stories were not run. (Either are quite plausible.)
For everyone except "the Eastern States and All US Territories", the deadline has passed and you can now get your free credit report from this web site. (The Eastern States et al come online Sept. 1st, 2005.)
What they didn't tell you in those news stories was how easy it would be to do it. I had assumed that the companies would make things as hard as possible, then and mail the reports to you. While you do need to confirm your identity, and the companies do try to convince you to pay money for their extra special report, I found the difficulty level appropriate, and was very pleased that they are displayed online immediately. The whole process can take less than ten minutes, unless you end up having to dig up old loan information or something. (Those of you with a richer credit history than me may have more difficulty.)
Each credit company does provide you a "printable" link that contains the entire report in one page (also suitable for archiving on disk), though you sometimes have to look for it a little.
I found no grievous errors on mine, but one of the companies has not yet noticed that I left the Lansing area nearly two years ago.