Mark, the AFCI devices were claimed to be available from 1999 through 2001, when they were withdrawn. They were withdrawn because it was clear that the 2002 would require the 'entire circuit' to be protected ... pretty much destroying any market for these devices.
While the NEC backed off a little in the 2005 and 2008 editions, allowing for the use of the devices right next to the panel, the manufacturers are hesitant to tool-up again. IMO, their fears are justified, as each code cycle seeks to expand the role of AFCI's in our homes.
To parallel the AFCI drama, at least one breaker manufacturer is currently campaiging to require GFI protection at the panel, rather than at the device. ECN has had a thread on this topic.
Please note that the panel manufacturers' concerns about 'safety' have not extended so far as to allow the placing of "Brand X" breakers into "Brand Y" panels ... at least, not without undertaking a massive testing and certification program. Indeed, the recent emphasis on "series rating" can be seen as an attempt to require the exclusive use of one brand everywhere in a building.
UL simply isn't in any position to play referee in this matter. With their emphasis on "consensus" standards, it's all too easy for the process to be manipulated by the manufacturers. That, IMO, is at the root of why there are no true "AFCI testers" available.
At first glance, the 2011 edition appears to make the use of AFCI devices much more practical; that's why I hope we will see some such devices soon.
Now ... if only someone could explain to me why combining a $5 breaker with a $9 device results in a breaker that has to cost $35 .....