Back to the main topic...
I still think the best way to run the event launch, if GenCon decides to stick with purchasing events "live" like this instead of an automated purchase system (personally, I agree with live event sales), is to allow people to sign up for a queue lottery the day of events going on sale.
The process could work something like this:
Before events go on sale, everything works like it does now. The day they go on sale, when the big timer hits a certain time (perhaps half an hour remaining), the "submit wishlist for processing" button lights up. When the timer hits 0 (at noon EST, if GenCon keeps to the same schedule), everyone who hit the button before the timer ran out has their position shuffled, and their wishlists process in a random order.
At this point, the system can either do wishlists like it does now, or do some kind of zig-zag system where it'll give everyone one ticket from their wishlist before giving anyone a second ticket, and so on. Personally, I think that doing a system that tries to give everyone a ticket high on their wishlist would be better than a system where those who get the best pick in the lottery basically get everything in their list, but I know that would also be harder to code. While this is going on, anyone who got into the system after the timer's up (i.e. after noon EST) would have their wishlist added to the back of the queue, ready to process with the normal system once all the early-comers are finished.
The main benefit to this system, at least in my opinion, is that it doesn't rely on people (or GenCon servers) having stable connections to work fluidly. Limiting the pre-event timer to half an hour also means that only people who are actually available at their computer to purchase the tickets are considered (assuming GenCon wants to stick with a "live purchase" system). As an added benefit, GenCon can still add a system that ends up being fair for more people, by attempting to give everyone something from their wishlist instead of the first few people getting everything they want and the last few people getting only what's left by that point (although the "first" and "last" person are randomized, in this case, not just the first one to hit the button).