I attended Nintendo's launch event in Los Angeles Saturday night and it was packed with people. I don't think even Nintendo expected this many people to be there. The PR folks kept assuring us there would be more than enough Wiis to go around even without a preorder, but sadly that wasn't the case. They ran out of wristbands for the people in line a few hours before the launch hour and people had to be turned away. Overall, the event was pretty disorganized and when they finally started selling Wiis, the line moved at a sluggish pace.
I don't see why it should ever take this long to move a line. You go in, you say, "Hi I'd like a Wii and X games. No warantee, thanks." Then you pay. But I think there were people who actually waited in line for hours who got to the checkout counter and said, "So...what game do you think is good?"
There's a full recount with pics on my site.