A staff member at Apple’s Burlington store estimated the wait at 2.5–3 hours as of 11am. He blamed it in part on an AT&T server crash—and now that it was online, there’d be a wait of two and a half to three hours. Even if AT&T’s server was down for an hour, that’d put them at most an hour behind schedule. A three hour line implies either a big line from the morning, yet uncleared, or more demand than they can register in the store.
I saw four registration booths running. Assuming Apple’s 10-15 minute setup estimate is correct, that can handle 40-60 sales per hour. I saw between 200 and 250 people in line, but a number appeared to be couples or family groups. If they can be handled as one sale, it seems plausible that those four stations can clear that line in 2.5–3 hours.
I’m sure Apple is regretting their choice to require in-store registration this time around. At-home iTunes registration is all that allowed them to move a hundred thousand iPhones on the first day last year. It also avoided any lines at any stores.