For the last 7 years, I usually go downtown and pick my SxSW badge early. This also allows me to gather up the 3 schwag bags you get with a Platinum Badge.
Strangely, this year there was no schwag. Each bag contained a Directory, a Pocket Guide, and an Austin Chronicle. Apparently, they've made a real effort to cut down on the paper.
As always, I was in and out in no time.