This may have been a bad week to try that thing. Well, it doesn't sound like it would have worked very well in any week, but this week especially.
My most recent movie shipped on 2/17 and the est. arrival date is 2/22. So something odd is up this week. An extra long pre-President's Day delay of some sort. Although in my case it may have to do with the post office? Since it's already shipped... But anyway, even for the normal customer, there's this odd 5 day delay thing right now. Perhaps 5 of your 9-day odyssey of pain may be attributed to that?
I dunno. I'd say, yeah, if you have a decent rental place down the street, use it to rent the harder to rent movies like Junebug. I use Netflix for a lot of the stuff I need to catch up on, and it works perfectly for that. I'm not trying to make excuses for Netflix, though. There's no doubt that it isn't as good as it used to be. The unfortunate side-effect of a growing corporation, I guess.