Scientists have created the first synthetic virus from scratch using the genome for polio. Depending on your view of the virus, this could be considered man-made life. It apparently wasn't all that difficult to do:

To construct the virus, the researchers say they followed a recipe they downloaded from the internet and used gene sequences from a mail-order supplier.

For now
dneid: For now, I'm of the belief that viruses are not alive since they are unable to sustain life when they are without a host.
potatono: Many parasites cannot sustain life or reproduce without a host. Although there is a difference in that with a parasite the host is simply the compatable environment for reproduction. With a virus however, the cell is actually doing the reproduction for the virus. Personally, it think it's symantics. Viruses are born, consume, reproduce and die, they're alive.
i7dealer: But they don't really reproduce, they count on the living cell to provide that function for them.
potatono: If a virus isn't alive what is it? Natural Automata? It's still replication of DNA (or RNA). The (ab)use of the cell to that end is symantics, IMO.