The BlackBerry code signing keys replacement process has until recently been a manual process. There was a team at RIM whose job was to review the applications and dole out keys which made getting the keys a much more lengthy process than it had to be. RIM has recently updated the code signing page to note that the process is now automated and the signing key replacement process will be much faster. Considering App World will be ballooning in size with all the new ways people can create apps for the platform, this is a crucial step. Here are the official details:
Obtaining replacement BlackBerry code signing keys is today easier, faster and free of charge. RIM has simplified the process of obtaining replacement BlackBerry code signing keys to better serve its developer community. The process is now automated, fast and free of charge. If a developer is in need of replacement signature keys, they can simply make a request through BlackBerry.com/SignedKeys. The turnaround is fast and no administration fee is required.