using customers to pay for bandwidth of each patch
yah the theory is kinda lame for the greedy algorithm in a theory way, but you can shut off the p2p stuff if you like.
BitTorrent and other such p2p sharing systems really do work, and work well. They change the dynamics of a patch download. The best time to get the patch is when everyone else is getting it... that way the most number of players are playing sooner rather than all the people waiting in line.
BTW: don't disable
your firewall, don't disable NAT, just route ports XXX to your IP. Setup your router to route these ports to your hosts while you download. Then shut off those ports.
This changed the performance of the download from around 2k/sec for me to around 144k/sec. My download only took around 15 minutes and in the process i had uploaded almost twice what I had downloaded. This is great! I took one copy and provided two, meaning the WoW users as a whole benefitted from my download.
sorry you had a bad time, but it's not a bad system they have setup...