Went in to a Verizon store about a month ago and One guy said he wasn't sure. He said he has seen the rumors and heard about it and everything but didn't know when they would get it.
Went to Best Buy this week and asked if they knew when they would get it. Original guy I asked the question to had no idea what the Merge was. He asked a co-worker nearby and he said he had never heard of it. Then the original guy asked another co-worker that was nearby and he also had never heard of it.
Pretty much Everyone knows about the Merge coming out and people have even seen magazine ads and cases for it in the stores. And still No phone.
I agree that it is either being held back for Q1 or LTE.