It was almost a year ago, when on October 15th 2010, Azerbaijani authorities declared new visa regulations for foreign nationals. If prior it was possible to obtain visas at the arrival, from now on, each foreign national had to apply for a visa through Azerbaijani embassy in their respective countries. However, looks like the regulations are going to change as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced just recently of new electronic visas to be available for foreign citizens.
According to Aydin Ismiyev (original article is available here [AZ]), head of the tourism department at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, work is under way however, there are no tentative dates as to when this service will be available. Ismiyev says once the service is approved, potential visitors will now be able to apply online for their visas through the Azerbaijani embassies in their countries (all the documents will be submitted online). The process will take about 15 days.
Not sure if this is going to ease the process but who knows, perhaps having to host Eurovision 2012 in Azerbaijan next year, somethings should start to change sooner than later.