GitHub has several iPhone projects for use outside of the curated Apple garden. This sort of thing is for functionality which is unlikely to make it thru the app store approval process. And for folks who are either comfortable with the Jailbreak concepts or have their own Apple Developer environment with the ability to “side load” their own apps.
This iProxy project on GitHub offers a workaround for tethering. This is just one approach of many.
I’m not endorsing Jailbreaking or “side loading” with this post. That’s an individual decision and one which should be made with an understanding of the risks involved.
So far, I’ve been pretty satisfied with the curated selection of Apps. However, as someone who’s been on the wrong side of early technology adoption in the past, I find it comforting to know there is a vibrant developer community out there who would likely continue to add value to our devices for years to come even if Apple were to screw up and leave us with the equivalent of another generation of Palm Pilots or HP iPAQs.