What I really don't understand is that the SDCC has PLENTY of money: why can't they just rent out a HUGE auditorium nearby (like, where U2 might play) and have the biggest panels there? That way, no-one would have to wait in line at all (except if they wanted the best seats) and more of the nitty gritty of the Con (dealer rooms, company booths, etc.) would get more traffic (and therefore more sales).
People having to camp out even overnight is too much, though I understand that some would to get right up front regardless. And larger auditoriums would mean more people doing as Darth Geek did - watching on huge monitors - but they'd still get to be 'in the presence' of the people they admire so much without it taking a 36:1 ratio of waiting to seeing anything.