The STO head start period started yesterday at 1pm EST and I was there. Helps to actually know what to expect, so I made LT6 by yesterday evening after only about 5 hours of play time. As soon as I made LT6 I logged out and logged back in to create my Klingon, who then made LT5 in all of about 30-45 minutes. Talk about a leg up! And I've already hit LT8 this morning just running PVP queues, which is entirely what the Klingon faction is all about, game-wise. Unlike the Federation faction, which has stories and missions to run through, the Klingon faction has none of it. Any "quests" you get from Klingon faction NPCs relate directly to PVP of some variety.
While I think that makes some sense in a Star Trek way, I have to wonder how much of that was driven by the very tight time line within which Cryptic had to produce this MMO. If you look at it from a simple developmental standpoint, the Klingons were announced late last year. And as you walk around in the early minutes of the game on the Klingon site you can't help but notice how stark it is compared to the Federation faction. Which quite honestly, isn't all that busy to begin with. As I mentioned, it took me something around 5 or 6 hours to make it to LT6 on the Federation side, but on the Klingon side of things it's a simple matter of walking around in the station for 30 mins before you hit that mark. I don't buy the premise that the developers were just slingshoting Klingons to the point where they could PVP. It smacks too much of cut corners to me.
As far as launches go, the head start actually didn't start off too badly. There was some lag which caused rubber banding and the such, but much better than I had believed I would be seeing given Cryptic's track record with previous MMOs. The server has crashed only once that I know of, though I'm going to be very interested to see how things hold up on the 2nd when the bulk of the player population logs in.
[8pm EST Update] I spoke way too soon. The server went down for hours today, and finally came back up, only to now go back down after an hour. The official forums are turning into a mudfest.