Tip: Install one of the Express editions before you go.
Visual Studio 2008 Installfests are going on around the country. We had ours in Pittsburgh today, and the place was packed. It was fun just to tinker with a bunch of other developers around.
Most people brought laptops, which means there were varying degrees of success with the installation (usually due to incomplete removal of beta bits). One of the longest parts of the process is the installation of the .NET 3.5 Framework.
My installation was flawless and quick. Just after VS 2008 shipped, I installed VB.NET express, which included the lengthy framework installation. Since I already had he framework, my installation was complete a great deal of time before anyone else’s, and I had time to bang out a quick Linq demo.
In some towns, there are little programming or example contests for swag. The extra time could do you some good.