It looks like, come launch day, you’ll only be able to buy the iPad at retail from the Apple Store or from Best Buy. Who buys things from stores anymore, I wonder. But despite the inconceivable amount of hype accompanying the iPad, Best Buy cannot be bothered to open early. Sorry, mate.
Best Buy will have several SKUs available in its stores on launch day (all except the 3G one, of course, which comes out a few weeks later), but don’t think you’ll be able to stroll on in come 6am. Best Buy, owing to its de-facto monopoly on retail iPad availability—plenty of small towns have a Best Buy, but how many have an Apple Store?—won’t be opening up early to sell Apple’s latest toy. Nope: you’re going to have to wait till normal business hours to pick one up.
Most stores will have iPads in stock at launch, with 675 (out of more than 1,000) stores reporting that they’ll be ready and waiting come April 3.