The thing would be in stores starting at 5pm on March 11th, and with no Apple Store in Ithaca, I knew there was no point in trying to get one that day. I could in theory have gone up to the Apple Store at the Carousel Mall, but the hockey quarterfinals limited my options.
No problem; I could wait. I placed my order online the morning of March 11th for a model that showed as shipping in 1-2 weeks. I ordered custom engraving, with my name and e-mail address on the back, a nice freebie that's only available if you order from Apple online, and doesn't seem to add any time to the shipping process.
Last week, the first accessory showed up, the HDMI adapter that'll let me play anything on the iPad and watch it on my TV. (I like that feature. I like it a lot.) Last night I got word that the case had shipped, and this morning I got word that the iPad 2 itself had shipped. I should have it roughly next Tuesday.
But this weekend, in Atlantic City, we discovered we were right across the Boardwalk from an Apple Store. I could've walked in and walked out with an iPad 2 and cover and HDMI cable in the time it took Phillips Seafood Express to prepare my shrimp po'boy. (In fact, I walked in to see how the leather covers felt, while I waited for the sandwich.)
Sure, I can still wait. It helps enormously that I still have my original iPad. The friend who's buying that is patient, too; she's already got her iPhone. But the week and a half between seeing those iPads in a store and getting mine from China will feel longer than usual.