The sale actually began early...I was in the queue before noon eastern time (11:48 to be precise).
I had to try a few times before I managed to get things straightened out...it kicked me out at least three times. When I finally got to the payment page, there were some problems with Google Wallet, but those resolved.
By 12:22, I had a receipt from Google saying my phone (I bought the 8 Gb version) had been purchased.
It is expected to be shipped Thursday, and should arrive by Monday.
Now, the only question remains is whether to buy the Nexus 10 or not.