[From Bill Powers (2005.08.28.1348 MDT)]
I looked up Chinese consulates. There are very few, and they no longer accept mail applications, or so I understand. A company named VisaRite (accessed through the same page as the consulates) will do it for you, for a fee of $90 minimum (if you're not in a hurry -- a couple of weeks).
The actual official consulate and embassy page states that you can have someone else apply for the visa for you, which is how the above company can do it.
If any CSGer in a city with a consulate wishes to do some applying, I'd be happy to send my passport and whatever fees are required. Otherwise I plan to use VisaRite. San Francisco, Chicago, and New York are three that I remember.