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Wow.. crazy stuff. I ordered a Nook not too long after they went on pre-sale. Not soon enough to get it before xmas, but the expected ship date of January 4th I got when I ordered was actually later than when it actually arrived. I think it shipped on January 1st or 2nd or something. A few days before the expected date.
The only issue we had was that I didn't order the protection plan, thinking my girlfriend could add it after she got the Nook (I was blowing $270ish already, the extra $70 for the "covers everything" 2 year protection was on her). Nobody told me she could add it later, but I assumed we could work something out.
Their system doesn't let you buy just the protection plan, it has to be part of the Nook order itself as an attached item. The local B&N manager was VERY helpful and accomodating. She took a recently returned (unopened) Nook, sold us that one WITH the warranty, and took my girlfriend's Nook as a return with 100% (no restock or anything) trade.
The only other weirdness we've had with their customer service or system are:
* I had an ancient B&N account, forgot password, but the reset password function didn't work. I had to call them. They fixed it within 5 minutes (it was a REALLY old login)
* My girlfriend bought an ebook for like $1 that was supposed to be 17 short stories and it turned out to be like the first few chapters of one story (not a whole story, I don't think). Their customer service (on the phone) didn't quite get the idea that the description said "17 short stories" but the book itself was one story, multiple chapters. Kind of dense on their part, but not sure if frontline tech support/customer service can actually access the ebook content to verify what it contained.
Just like with any stories, that are going to be good ones and bad ones. Extreme cases like this are most likely that, extreme. I like the Kindle. I like the Nook. I like a bunch of the new ereaders that were shown at CES, but for every Nook horror story, I'm sure I could find an equal number of Kindle ones. Especially from when Kindles were new (remember, they've had a while to perfect their product and systems).
My biggest hope, right now, is that Kindle's call for an app store will inspire B&N to create their own app store and all the budding Android devs will come out of the woodwork. A color touchscreen beats a physical keyboard and slow eink display for apps anyday.