My Foreceast/Recession issue/Hardware growth/Insider selling/Recap of "Reality"
I'm not saying downloading won't become the new fad...but it's a long way off if ever. The size of the games themselves is probably the most valid point, but there is something else to consider.
Demand is demand...remember the servers crashing in Denver or whereever b/c of Rockies World Series tickets. If you have a huge release like Halo 3, then you'll have traffic problems online too.
Next, most of those waiting in line at midnight are in it for the fun of it (I know it doesn't make sense to me, but it's a part of the more avid gamer culture). Midnight release parties are called parties b/c they find it fun. Plus pre-orders these days available at places like Gamestop, ensure you get pretty much every title you want in advance any time you want to go pick it up.
That and Gamestop is just a fun store to go to, look at the games (packaging) and talk to people or clerks there. Thinking online is going to take over every brick and mortar store is what got everyone in trouble in the dot.com days. Yes, online is a powerful force, but GME is dealing with that with online store and gameinformer.