It’s a bit rough around the edges, but the new version of minecraft.net is up! It will receive even more polish in the future, with prettier art by JunkBoy and less super-wide content.
I spent all day today working on gift codes, and it’s working now! The way it works is that you buy codes that get connected to your account, then you give those away to friends. When they redeem the code, they will get added to your profile page, so you can keep track of how generous you are.
You can buy the codes here: http://minecraft.net/buy_gift_codes.jsp
Codes bought before the 20th will generate alpha accounts when redeemed, even if that’s in six months from now.