I ordered an iPhone 5 in-store on the 21st since I couldn't find a way to pre-order and keep my unlimited data, even though I was paying full retail. My ship date isn't until October 19th, and that's a long time to wait. But I did find a local Radioshack that has them in stock, but I have heard that third party retailers cannot keep your unlimited plan on your account even if you are paying full retail, and once the unlimited is removed it's gone forever.
So should I wait until October 19th to get my shipment from Verizon or is there a way to pick it up at Radioshack and still keep my unlimited data?
Will Radio Shack let you take the phone home without activating it? If so, then you could call Verizon once at home and activate the phone yourself, making sure all your features remain intact.
As to 3P retailers, I would avoid them, especially given the sensitivity of your account with unlimited data.