I have never really figured out how to tackle the first date. I suppose there probably isn't really a perfect answer, particularly when you've never actually met the person. Meeting for dinner stinks for lots of reasons, meeting for drinks is almost as bad because I don't have the distraction of jamming food in my face. I much prefer the activity date, but you run the risk of messing up your hair, getting sweaty, smelling bad, and getting covered in mud.
You also run the risk of getting carried away by the scenery.