It just wasn't in the cards to make it this year. However, I gave a friend of mine my phone so he could sign up, which worked, so at least someone else could represent those of us from Bend. Last year's was an absolute blast (I remember sprinting to my hole with the grace of 3-legged Mastodon during the 2 minute warning after marking a yellow jacket nest) and right now I wish I had 4 lungs so I could sigh my discontent twice as long.
I honestly doubt Hab/Rec's format will ever change. It has been this way for 12 years, and has sold out EVERY year, if I'm not mistaken. Online registration just aids in selling out faster. It's frustrating for people I know, but this is Buckley's brainchild, don't give him grief over it!