My 3500Li arrived mid December 2009. I am a lucky one, drove it right out of the crate. I had been watching these blogs for awhile and also saw youtube video of a fella uncrating his last year. Saved me a lot of problems. The packaging includes a bubble wrap tied around the handles (and brake levers.) The fella in the video had problems getting the wheels off the crate... I think he had his brakes tied down. Anyway, mine rolled right off. I opened the seat and READ THE MANUAL first. It isn't good, but I did discover that I needed to flip the switch under the seat before everything would work. It had a full charge and took right off. I weigh 260 lbs, but the torque in the "O" position scooted me right up a steep hill. Some folks may have had problems because they charged a fully charged machine or didn't follow the checklist for start-up? My motor number in the rear wheel hub shows a September of '08 manufacture date and so far I am very pleased. In the interest of full disclosure, I had to replace the mirrors with some with longer arms, I could only see my own shoulders with the stock mirrors. Also, one of the screws that hold a plastic decorative cover stripped out and I had to replace it too.
I highly recommend you search several vendors on line because there are some great sale prices out there $2,349 at "Electric Vehicle Mall." Got mine for less at "Alpha Products International," but I think they are out of stock.
The only hiccup getting it registered here in Santa Cruz County, Ca. was that I had to have a Highway Patrol "Vin Officer" fill out a verification form before Dept. of Motor Vehicles issued my tags and waived the "Emissions Certificate."
Hope my luck holds, I LOVE this scooter. Best to you all.