I believe Blizzard needs to understand and think more like a customer and customer experience with the way the realm availability is being handled.
The current statements from Blizzard like the one by Bornakk above or by Brian Birmingham from ClassiCast #32 about the expecting queue times on Full realms while suggesting creating characters on lower populated realms really go to show that Blizzard does not understand the customer view point. Blizzard really needs to understand what make customers choice one realm over another, and why all realms should never be considered equal choices for each customer. The one major factor Blizzard seems to be missing is timezone will matter to a lot of player in their realm choice.
So why does timezone matter in a customer’s choice, there are 2 factors that tend to influence a lot of customer’s realm choice causing player to cluster based on realm time-zones.
First factor is a majority of the customer will choose a realm that is their timezone or closest to it. Most will avoid/reduce the amount of math required to calculate realm time offsets, as having little to no differences in time-zones can help reduce stress for some over having to calculate larger timezone difference.
Second factor is player are going to want to maximum there play time be at the realms peak hours to play with others be it friends, guilds or other random groups.
While it is not always the cause a large number of Blizzard’s customer are going to be player with day jobs, which will result in most player’s play time to be in the evenings usually in a set range after dinner and before bed, it caused optimal timezone choices for most a players. So for most player ones they choose their ideal timezone they will unlikely move to a different just because the population is less.
Now the problem is simply that players who has created characters on an Eastern realm is not going to move to a Pacific realm just be of long queue times and is going to wait until another Eastern realm becomes available. So it is disappointing Blizzard let the realms fill up like they did, because even before the launch it already has created a poor customer experience for players like SO and myself who subscribed early to try to reserve our names had no idea we be waiting for a lower populated server on launch day anyways. Since the now full current realms will not only suffer from queues at launch but even long after launch. Take it from a customer that played on a one of the top populated servers from vanilla that sometime had queues lasting hours, it was a horrible customer experience in vanilla and it will be a horrible customer experience in classic.
Also what other poor customer experiences are the player expected to face launch day when old player start resubscribing on launch day have to join the already high population servers that existing player that reserve their names on because of wanting to play with friends or because additional servers are not available in the server list yet?