Apple didn't think this through. Activating the phone simultaneously on a one day world wide rollout was bound to cause problems. Particularly as the whole idea of queuing up is to be first on the street with the latest device.
Apple's "partners" have locked themselves in to a lucrative 5 year agreement. Being the short term a*** h****s they are, the telcos take a short term view of the situation and have refused to beef up their support to meet the one day demand.
iPhone customers do, to some extent, have themselves to blame. Two weeks from now the process will have been ironed out and there will be much shorter queues.
Meantime there is spectacular short term damage to what many claim to be a watershed device.
I still plan to get one, one of these days. Of course, the pay as you go option has been delayed, so I haven't much choice to wait.