Jesse Vincent is doing Amazon's work for it. Vincent has put together an app called Savory that runs natively on the Kindle to convert ePub and PDFs dropped into the Kindle 2 document folder. If you're feeling adventurous enough to hack your Kindle, you can read PDFs and ePub documents on the Kindle without having to hassle with Amazon's ridiculous email conversion process.
Actually, Vincent isn't the first to hack the Kindle. He uses toolsets created by others to load software onto the Kindle, but wrote a package to do the conversion on the device:
What I did was to port an ebook-conversion package to run reasonably efficiently on a 500mhz ARM with 128 megabytes of system memory and to write a small program which watches for new ebooks in a few chosen formats and run those through the conversion tool.
He released the first version on April 3rd, and has since added support for "picture perfect" conversion of PDFs to the Kindle. The screenshots look very sweet indeed.
Unfortunately, Savory doesn't run on the original Kindle, so those of us with the original device are out in the cold (or out a few hundred bucks...). But, it's interesting to see people adding functionality to the device that Amazon doesn't include natively.
It's a shame that Amazon doesn't make this easier, though. If Amazon made it easier to develop add-ons for the Kindle, there'd probably be a lot more useful software for the Kindle -- and probably quite a few more devices sold.