near as I can tell it's a server load issue.
at really odd times (ca 2am PST) I've actually been able to get in quickly.
But now I'm completely stuck trying to get into Sol.
Been stuck there for 2 days now -- and 'just give it time' doesn't work, I can vouch:
I've left the loading screen up for over an hour with no change. Just sits at that ~80% complete progress bar, cycles the warp animation, and scrolls through tips/facts/history at the bottom.
may have answered my own question. unsure yet. going over my system specs and noticed my processor is below minimum. might upgrade and see if that helps any. in the meantime... frustrating much!!!!!!!!