For those of you who do want to create a D&D character—regardless of the edition—the solution is simple: Get the PHB of the edition you want to play and read through the book. Rolling dice for stats, picking a race, class, etc, is pretty much what is required for each and every edition. Read up on the specifics of the race and class and learn all the ins and outs. Easy, right? Well sort of.
Not everyone wants to go with the above route though. Creating your own character from scratch can be a complicated task. After all there are many editions of D&D now, and with a new one on the way taking the time to learn the complexities and minutia of whichever existing edition you are exploring/playing is often beyond the time and abilities many of us have to spare. There are many other reasons that reading rules and creating a character by hand might be a hinderance.
• Friends & spouses may want to play but don't want to bother with character creation. At least not until they decided if they like the game.
• Little kids want to play but are not yet sophisticated enough to create a character. Character creation is also boring for young kids who just want to start rolling dice and get playing.
• DMs want to get a play group going for people who might be on the fence and want to try the game out.
• DMs need playable characters ready when someone shows up with little to no knowledge of how to play and creating a character would slow things down.
• People who want to explore different editions and the mechanics of game play from older editions.
• People who want to learn by playing.
• Lazy people, (guilty) who find character creation somewhat tedious and often overly complex.
There are likely many more reasons why pre-gens can be helpful. I'm not going to bother listing more though. Here is a resource list for pre-gens or fast character creation that simplifies the mechanics while still giving you choices.
If Wizards knew what was good for them and their business they would make basic character generators similar to these for each and every existing edition. Wizards, you have been advised.
Here are the links. Although I searched for OD&D, B/X D&D, 1e D&D I still listed other generators here too. The old school stuff was hardest to find. I hope this is all helpful.
Wizards Red Box Game Day Old-School Character Cards (Wizards does have some)
SmolderingWizard.com Old-school RPG Character Generators This is a link that leads to other links.
Every time you click this link a new character is generated: 1974 D&D characters
Holmes D&D Characters (basic)
B/X D&D Character Generator
OD&D Character Generator
1E D&D Character Generator
2E Character Generator
Beyond the Crystal Cave Pre-Gens! (4e)
Dungeon's Master.com Pre-Generated Character Library
D&D Next Pre-Generated Character Library
Character Sheets by Dyslexic Studeos