That was back in October 2010, long way from any new product introduction. I knew *very* well what I wanted, didn't need any explanations, no selection process, no catches - and still, it took me half an hour to pay and walk out - five different Apple Store reps came to me, asked what I wanted, heard "I want to pay and go", and walked away into oblivion, just to be replaced by next rep.
Maybe it's not so much because iPad2 is in scarcity, and not so much because there are too many customers, but because Apple Store is made inefficient on purpose in order to create a perception of high demand?
UPDATE: Quick search confirms: it *is* on purpose. There is no checkout register in Apple Store, and, as one of fellow bloggers eloquently put it, You just have to aimlessly wander around the store and hope to A) get approached by a free employee or B) randomly pick an employee that’s helping someone and follow them around until they’re done.
There, people. We've been deceived again. Not for the first time, nor for the last.