Done! Ordered on Apple web site at 2:10. Black/slate, 64GB. Order confirmed by email immediately!
That was supremely easier than the past several years.
Oh, and to get to the store on the web site, I didn't click "Store" at the top. I went through the main Apple.com page and clicked on the big feature image of the iPhone and clicked the blue "BUY" button on the next page.
Took a little longer than I may have liked, but got it pre-ordered and ready to go from the Apple Store application. Didn't want go to directly through Verizon, so glad I had that app downloaded and ready to go.