First off - First post - Mac user for years from original Macintosh to now. Audio Production is my business, and think the new iMac will serve my studio correctly. Was one of the first online ordering when iMac's went live last week. Ordered 27"/3.4i7/1TBFusion/680 Eastern Time Zone USA order was processed at 3:12 AM local time. Shipping expedited and got a Dec 21-28 date. I called Apple today to see if I could expedite shipping further. I asked that since I was in on the first 15 minutes of orders, why wasn't I in the first block of shipping times? (Dec 18-Dec 24). The girl was very helpful and after some intense computer work, she stated that she escalated my shipment to a rush, and without even asking told me she was waiving all shipping charges. She stated that this in one of the first shipments coming directly out of China. The waived charges was a much appreciated surprise that I wasn't looking for. I was just looking for some insight. I even told her she didn't have to, and that I'd gladly pay a bit extra if she could guarantee it by Dec 18. Before hanging up I wanted to dig a little bit so we started talking - Since this is the first shipment out of China, I assume that small BTO requests such a simple RAM upgrades are shipping from US depot's and possibly got the 12/18-12/24 shipping time. She said she couldn't confirm but pretty accurate, and went on to talk about full custom builds coming from overseas and to be on a ship within the next 7-10 days. So here's the fun part: I told her that I've received many products from Apple in the past earlier than the shipping date, and asked her what she thought the chance percentage was in this case. She responded that thousands of customers have had orders cancelled due to unauthorized credit cards, unverifiable addresses, and simple changing/cancelling of orders. She said she had personally been inundated with calls over the weekend. She stated that all of those orders are being wiped off the computers as a priority. Each time one is cancelled everybody else is moving up in the shipping schedule towards the front of the line. She said she would pretty much bank on me receiving it early, and went as far to say possibly a week. She also pretty much hinted that base models should arrive in stores between the 18th-20th, and orders should start arriving to homes just before that... but of course couldn't 100% guarantee or confirm due to policy. I hung up happy knowing Apple's wonderful customer service gave me something they didn't have to (Free Expedited Shipping), and boosted my hopes for getting this thing sooner rather than later. Just thought I'd share, as I'm sure some have had same experiences, or have been wondering themselves.