The day after complaining about the MacBook Pro shortage I got an email that said:
Saw your post on your not being able to get a MacBook Pro. I work at [one of the local Portland Apple Stores] and I wanted you to know that I’ve set aside a 2.0Ghz MacBook Pro for you. Call the store and ask for me and we can make some arrangements for you to pick it up.
I was obviously stoked. With the single simple action of what I consider to be a dedicated Apple Store employee all of my discouragement was tossed out the window. Within 45 minutes I had a MacBook Pro booting up in my office. Thanks Apple Store.