Ryan at pdf chase is mostly right about the stupidity of our online registration system. (I especially enjoy the e-mails it automatically sends, which do not contain a copy of your bids due to "security reasons." Because my choice of Bankruptcy over Antitrust needs to be kept secret.) The whole rigmarole is especially foreign to people who have come from small undergraduate institutions. Although CMC had quirks of its own (nothing online, not even grades, but then HLS just got those this year), everything was refreshingly simple. You showed up at your appointed time with a list in hand, quickly compared it to the oversubscribed courses on the blackboard, dropped and replaced anything that had filled, and told an actual human being to enroll you in certain classes. Stone age, but comprehensible.
The only reason I can see for having such an emphasis on fairness and everyone repeatedly getting a new shot at the top classes is that we only take electives for two years. Getting shafted during registration in undergrad meant one term's worth of mediocre courses, whereas we now have fewer chances to fit in those much sought after seminars. I do hope they switch over to biannual registration, though. Trying to assess whether you'd rather take one class in the spring versus another in the fall is just absurd.
Update: Dean Rakoff just sent us an e-mail with the results of a survey about the registration system. The semester-by-semester registration reform was preferred by a 2/3 margin, but, as is typical, nothing will happen for months while the proposals for change are in committee.