updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu August 4, 2011
May be free under certain circumstances
(Updated with counterclaim) Apple's promised USB sticks for OS X Lion should now be available for sale, internal AppleCare documents show. These allow a person to install the OS without an available Internet connection and/or Mac App Store access. Apple is charging $69 for each stick, $39 more than the cost of a downloaded Lion upgrade.
Significantly, the AppleCare documents also show that under the right circumstances, a person may be able to get a stick for free. This involves Lion's built-in recovery tools failing to work, or otherwise not being an option. Only Tier 2 Apple support workers can decide to give out free Lion sticks.
Update: Engadget says it has learned that the "recovery media" referred to in AppleCare documents is in fact a specific restoration tool for AppleCare workers. The view is is so far backed by checking Apple's website, which has yet to show Lion for order online except through the Mac App Store. The company has stated it will ship Lion on USB sticks sometime this month.