Yes, I have seen a few GFCI outlets that are sideways like the one in your second picture. I don't have a picture handy though. While I have seen GFCI's like that I have never seen just a regular duplex receptacle though.
#55211 - 08/21/0507:21 AMRe: Do you US guys have an option?
OK, let's give our overseas friend a break here; I don't think the 4-square is used outside the US.
Mike, our basic electrical box is steel, 4" square and maybe 1.5" deep. This box is completely open in the front, and is used together with a "mud ring." The mud ring comes in three varieties: for one device, for two devices, and with a round opening (for lights). They are made in different depths, to accomodate differing wall thicknesses. Again, our "typical" wall material is drywall- a factory made sheet of paper faced gypsum "plaster." so, the ring is the part that goes through the drywall.
You can mount the ring, and thus the device, in either orientation on the box.
Now, these days homes are often wired using a different sort of box- a plastic one with nails attached to it. This type does not use a "mud ring," and has to be mounted in line with the wall stud- or vertically.
You will note that our receptacles do not have switches mounted with them. This might be why our usual practice is to mount the receptacle vertically- it's just the "normal" way to do it.
#55217 - 08/21/0512:49 PMRe: Do you US guys have an option?