I’m not big on buying land in Second Life. So, I have no idea if this is an improvement or what. Vogy Linden has posted in the Second Life Blog → Land and article about the changes in how land can be purchased. The big change is one no longer has to go through support to buy land. That is probably a good thing. The process is now executable in-world.
Start by looking at the Mainland on the World Map, and enabling the check box “Land for Sale.” When you find a parcel that you might be interested in, check out the owner. If the parcel is owned by Governor Linden and marked, “Abandoned Land – For Sale,” then you can purchase it by clicking on the “Buy Land,” button.
The post is here: Announcing an Easier Way to Purchase Abandoned Mainland Property
More information is here: Linden Lab Official: Purchasing Abandoned Mainland Parcels – FAQs