The official start time is 4:30pm here, so up to 3 hours earlier means 1:30pm means a good afternoon to play the game before the US players wake up (although I'm sure that a lot will be up at midnight their time).
I've never had any trouble getting the names I like though, but they are fairly obscure.
I can't wait for GW2 coming out. Sadly I have no friends to play it with, not even a gf
I'm in the same boat. I can't wait for the game to come out, but will be playing mostly solo. That's why I'm happy about the way their PvE works where you can just jump into a fight and get credit. Most of my friends stopped playing MMO's when they quit WoW, but I went on to level characters in Rift, SW, Tera, and now GW2. I have a few friends that will start playing once they see the game, but none of them pre-purchased. I plan on just taking my time with GW2 and enjoy the world. Prior MMO's had me rushing to get leveled, but during the beta I found myself just wanting to play instead of worrying about what level I was.