I'm a huge tech enthusiast but these people are simply crazy. Why would you want to stand in line waiting when you can simply preorder it online? And what sort of person shouts out in excitement in front of a bunch of strangers? These people are called fanatics for a reason.
Personally, I did it because I had never gone to a product launch event, and I wanted to make sure that I wanted the Touch Type cover rather than ordering it online. And, coincidentally, I had already taken off most of this past week. At my local MS store, the only people that yelled were the staff, and they did it like a sports team prior to their game--trying to get themselves hyped up to sell it and the accessories.
Anyway, the other major perk was that the first 100 Surface buyers at MS Stores got a free year of Xbox Music (the Zune Pass replacement), which is a $100 value. There was also an unnannounced, free raffle for those waiting in line for two Xboxes (two winners). Similarly unannounced, I got 3 GB of extra Skydrive storage free, one month of free US/Canada Skype coverage, and a quick demonstration on how to use it, which makes it much quicker to pick up on (it's one thing to read all of the tips, but it's another to be shown as there was nearly instant muscle memory generated).