Just thought I'd chime in with my own horror stories, to make y'all feel a little better about hanging in there for the 14" model.
Placed my order June 17, and got a call asking if I wanted to change to the newer model on July 5. After being told that the 14" model wouldn't ship for at least three weeks, and they promised the 12" would ship in about 2 weeks, I agreed. (I'm a fan of the ultralight, and the smaller computer was actually a nice plus for me, still a bit bigger than my current laptop, but a whole lot more powerful)
I wait til the end of the week, and I'm still listed on Phase I. I call support to ask if I forgot to do anything, and they tell me that everything is fine, and the unit will ship on the 19th. Mollified, I go back to the waiting game.
Haven't received any communication from Alienware since the new order was placed, and I'm still listed in Phase I. I called them today, and apparently they're still waiting to credit the difference in cost back to my credit card. The new model doesn't have the drive-bay battery available, so it was actually about $100 cheaper than my old configuration.
At this rate, I might be lucky to get the laptop by Christmas, and the once very respectable specs will be merely average. -sigh- Someone tell me the really cool case and all the cool toys are worth it, please...