The 2009 i7 systems were also BTO only at first, but then Apple retail stores (at least here in the U.S.) began to carry them this year. I think the i7 ended up being more popular then they may have expected initially. I would think that they would have the new i7 iMacs in the stores at some point if not right away.Those i7 imacs are custom designed imacs. In other words, you have to pay more to get it. Since it's not a standard configured imac, I doubt they will carry it.
Yeah, at least in the US it doesn't look like you can pull off in-store pickup. I live in Pennsylvania so an in-store pickup at the (tax free) Delaware store would be fantastic. Unfortunately, this makes the i7 (or any other) upgrade significantly more money, since not only am I paying for the upgrade, but also the taxes that come along with delivering it in PATo the best of my knowledge, in-store pickup is not available for BTO models.
My portland oregon store said the same thing got there fought the crowds and guess what they didnt have them they were last years models...https://forums.macrumors.com/images/smilies/mad.gifI just phoned the Atlanta, Lenox Square, Apple Store and they have the Quad i7 2.93 GHz in stock.
Not sure if they have stock @ the retail level, but my guess is yes. However I ordered my iMac yesterday online and an hour ago I got a confirmation email that my item has shipped.