I went in the B&N in San Mateo (SF bay area) hoping to see at least a mock-up of the Nookcolor. I lucked out in that they had just gotten their demo model in this morning. Like ColdSun, I wanted smaller/lighter iPad but gave up hope when Jobs said a 7" display is too small to be useful. I already use my iPhone4 for reading so I'm used to an LCD screen. I won't buy an e-ink device because I mainly read in bed at night and hate booklights. The screen resolution is great and the device feels solid. The GUI is easy to understand and the display is responsive. However, the web page load times seem laggy but that could be due to the speed of the wireless network in the store. As Prince Hal said, you can pre-order without any obligation. They estimate shipping after Thanksgiving and there is apparently a fairly high demand. I saw at least 10 names above mine on the pre-order list.
There was a lot of discussion around the display booth that the device is not as good as an iPad. Since I already have a MacAir, I certainly don't need all the features of the iPad. For me, the Nookcolor hits the sweet spot.