I've found something extraordinary and of equally extrordinary pedigree online recently. I mentioned it briefly in response to R. Vakil's question about the best way to introduce schemes to students. But this question is really where it belongs and I hope word of it spreads far and wide from here.

Last fall at MIT, Micheal Artin taught an introductory course in algebraic geometry that required only a year of basic algebra at the level of his textbook. The official text was William Fulton's *Algebraic Curves*, but Artin also wrote an extensive set of lecture notes and exercise sets. I found them quite wonderful and very much in the spirit of his classic textbook(By the way, simply can't wait for the second edition.).

Not only has he posted these notes for download, he's asked anyone working through them to email him any errors found and suggestions for improvements.All the course materials can be found at the MIT webpage. I've also posted the link at MathOnline, of course.

I don't know if most of the hardcore algebraic geometers here would recommend these materials for a beginning course. But for any student not looking to specialize in AG, I can't think of a better source to begin with. That's just my opinion. But it certainly belongs as a possible response to this question. Then again, it may be too softball for the experts,particularly those of the Grothendieck school.

Here's keeping our fingers crossed that this is the beginning of the gestation of a full blown text on the subject by Artin.