I ordered my iPad2 at 6AM Central Standard time, so at some point, while I was asleep between 2:30A and 6:00A Apple started selling the iPad2. When I grabbed it at 6AM, the schedule was 5-7 days before it ships and 5-7 days before it arrives. I guess the free shipping is going through snail mail.
I’m going to go out a little later today to see if I can get mine earlier. If you’re buying one, good luck with your venture.