“Operator?! I need an exit!” I bet if iPhone existed when they shot The Matrix they would’ve used it. It’s a great device and can really get you on antidepressants when it gets damaged somehow. There are however some problems that you can fix yourself, for example a cracked front panel. The iPhone is a little more difficult than regular phones to open so you will need some tools but nothing very exotic.
Since you will be dealing with small and sensitive mechanical and electronic parts you must be very careful and meticulous. Specially when you are using metallic tools that can scratch or slip and damage some other component. If you tried to open the older iPhone you will be pleased to know the newer iPhone 3G is more friendly in that matter. The display can now be detached from the front panel with little care. The front panel glass is glued to the rest of the case, but the glue gets soft if you heat it.
It is very well suggested to put the screws and other parts that come off on some scotch tape so you don’t lose them. A magnet also works very well for screws.
With some care the results can be excellent and your iPhone will be back in shape. So get to work and enjoy.
Learn how to replace iPhone’s front panel: [Link]