To whoever mentioned that Verizon will let you pay the $299 and then put the balance on your bill when buying full retail somewhere in this forum if not this thread....
I just got back from the Verizon store discussing my options and the Rep confirmed that I can definitely do that... up to $400 of the balance can be put on your bill. She wasn't even hesitant about it... though it didn't come up until after I asked about the possibility. I had asked the online chat rep and they just flat out said no.
So I can stop wringing my hands about coming up with the extra $400 dollars or charging it to credit. I'll have a Verizon Note 2 in hand on release day!