Meanwhile, I'm curious about when my copy will arrive. I also pre-ordered, back in March, but because I am a snooty elitist, I ordered from amazon.co.uk.  They currently project delivery on July 22. We'll see what happens. Regardless, I expect there will be at least a week during which I will need to avoid mailing lists, LiveJournal (at least, beyond my immediate friendslist, who I can probably trust not to give spoilers without warning for a little while), and other forms of mass media. Last time around, I didn't manage to avoid the revelation of the character death, but honestly, I was neither surprised nor disappointed. This time, there are some other things I'd prefer not to have spoiled.
One of these is the identity of the half-blood prince in the title. The pattern of the books so far leads me to believe that this will be an entirely new character. However, there's one notable half-blood among Harry's friends – Hagrid. That would lead to an interesting story, albeit an unlikely one in my opinion. Regardless, I don't want to know until I have the book in my hot little hands.
Check back in a few weeks for my thoughts after I've read the book.
 And, I suffer from generational displacement as I say that, because I'm once again remembering something from my mother's childhood. Does the Howdy Doody theme song have more to it than the few bars I know? And is it capable of being parodied?
 Meanwhile, M*A*S*H fan that I am, I note that actor Harry Morgan played character Sherman Potter on that long-running show, and that every so often my brain gets wired oddly (shut up, daeron) to make this fact have relevance.
 I understand that in the more recent books, there haven't been many differences between the American and British version. However, I initially read the American versions of the earlier books, and there were places in those that I was jarred out of the story due to things that British kids just wouldn't say, not to mention the inexplicable title change. In my opinion, importing is well worth it for those books. Now, it's worth it to have a set that matches.