Standing on line in Lansing to get an iPhone was similar, I'd guess from reports I've seen or read, to the experience everywhere else, but on a much smaller scale. One guy (LSJ), who you might call "LonelyGuy40", actually camped out at the store I was planning to visit. This blew my plan for the short line in the West vs the long wait in the East, by revealing the location of the AT&T store.
But, I went ahead anyway, arriving at about 4:30 PM, to take up position 25 (or so, no one really counted, and with hangers-on, it was hard to tell the actual size of the line). Two other guys arrived just as I did, so I loaned them my lawn chair and magazines and walked over to nearby Circuit City for awhile. When I got back around 5:00, about five more people had arrived! The hype was building ... NOT!
For the next hour, we chatted, and talked to the TV lady, and the mostly clueless Cingular (oop, I mean "new" AT&T) staff, and generally whiled away a pleasant TGIF. One well-equipped guy even had a sling chair, a beer, and an umbrella to protect him from the sun of the western exposure of the alley next to the building, where the line had formed.
They opened the door right at 6:00 PM, let in 10 people, and then as each one came out, let in another. We each were given a hastily hand-numbered brouchure to be our service order ("take a number, please"!) at the two checkouts. They had two demo phones on display. I got in the store at about 7:05 PM, had my number (#13 -- so maybe I was 23rd in line) called at 7:19, and 3 minutes later walked out the door with my shiny new 4GB iPhone sealed up in a plastic bag with Cingular Orange handles and top, and AT&T blue print on white background below. Hardly the elegant, black bags I saw later on Geek Brief TV from the Apple store in Dallas (? -- whereever Cali Lewis was).
Overall, the experience was kind of fun. I'll report later in some extended posts about some of the aspects of the line. But there is lots more interesting to discuss on the phone itself.