I understand a beta is a beta and not a demo, but all that should mean is that you work out the problems installing, starting, logging in and playing the game. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I see absolutely NO REASON that the game client itself shouldn't have been available for download at least a week in advance.
I purchased this game with the promise that I would have ACCESS to the beta beginning on January 12. That is not accurate if I can't even get the game client downloaded until days after the 12th. Like many others, I have been sitting in the fileplanet queue, my place in line never getting any lower and my time remaining until I can even START downloading only growing. I got to download about 2gb at one point then got booted back into the queue, permanently it would seem. I finally dished out the money to skip the queue on fileplanet, so I'm hoping that works.
All that to say, I had my beta key code and I was looking for a download link for the last week. Why not give us that week for everyone to download the game client BEFORE the beta starts so we all aren't doing it at once. I don't think you have to be particularly bright to understand that is a MUCH better idea.