In brief: I was quite high up on a waiting list (they weren't taking deposits though) at a big local BMW dealer and when the cars finally came in, it was basically "whoever came in the door first, with cash in hand" and willing to pay for the car, the premium and the extra junk they threw on the car ("paint protection", wheel upgrades, lowjack) gets the car. And, they refused to place any "special orders" - cars without the extras that nobody really wanted - for quite sometime.
As it turned out, I didn't end up really wanting one, anyway, after the news of the federalized Elise came out, and esp. after actually test-driving the MINI (Cooper and S). It's okay but compared to even a Miata, not a very involving drive. At the end of the day it's another FWD hatchback with good build quality, interesting styling and some very clever marketing.
Covered in Brandy and Lard