If they start issuing boarding passes at the ticket counter and the gate, does that mean if you want to be assured of getting in the first boarding group, you need to check in at the counter two hours before flight time? Are boarding passes at the gate still not going to be given out until one hour before flight time?
What if you are making a connection? Do you get your boarding pass for the second flight at the originating city, or do you have to stand in line at the gate at the connection city?
It's good news for me because for the longest time I've been wanting to get to DAL about 3 hours early, check in and go visit the Frontiers of Flight Museum at DAL, before I go to the gate to get my boarding pass. With the two-hour check in rule it only gave me about an hour in the museum if I wanted to be at the gate an hour early. Now it looks like I can spend up to 3 hours in the museum if I check in early.
I'm also assuming that the "A" cards the computer sets aside for people checking in at the gate will be given to connecting passengers, too as they will have already checked in at the originating city and only need to go to the gate at the connection city for the boarding pass on the second leg.
Fortunately, I did reach the counter exactly two hours before departure and it was fast (as usual) and since the security lines didn't look too bad, I was able to go up to the Frontiers of Flight Museum and spend about 50 minutes before I went to the gate and still managed to get boarding pass #22 (yay!).
As Jaydavis said, the museum is awesome. There's a big section on the early days of flight, a section on the Hindenburg, including some china and silverware that had been used onboard, lots and lots of different airliner models on display, some of them huge, with plastic on one side so you could look in and see the interior, some nice aeriel photos of Love Field, 3 old Braniff flight attendant uniforms, and a great gift shop.
Unfortunately, due to the events of September 11, the museum no longer lets you go out on to the old observation deck, but despite that it's well worth the $3.00 admission.