Exactly! this is stupid, wonder is there is any other way to get to buy one outright from somewhere else!Here! Tried the Apple Store at 12:15am before going to sleep. Decided I needed sleep more than I needed to order my phone in the first few minutes it became available. Glad I waited until waking up this morning now that it seems there was no faster shipping than 3-4 weeks!
But yes, pretty crap that it's such a long wait. From memory, by ordering in the first few minutes of availability, last year I made it into the slightly earlier online 4S order group - think that was 1-2 or 2-3 weeks. People ordering about an hour or so later experienced an additional 1-2 weeks shipping.