It sounds like some elusive artifact and in some ways it is. Google's new Google phone has been notoriously difficult to purchase since its release November 13th. In events that were surprising to me, but probably not to those who suffered through the Nexus 7 release of a few months ago, the launch was pretty painful.
Firstly I think Google severely underestimated the desirability of the phone since the order page was reporting sold out within 30 minutes of the phone being available, globally.
Second, the play store was unable to handle the load of everyone wanting Google stuff like right now. This is embarrassing for Google in my opinion, the company that can serve you search results to anyplace on the planet in under a second and has so much computing power at their disposal to allow such a service to crash is just bad form.
Third, there has been an extensive communication breakdown along the whole process. Starting from Google selling more of the Nexus 4 then they had current stock to cover, a problem probably related to the play store crashing. Continuing with people who now have the phone backordered and have no good ideas when they will be getting the phone. Culminating with people who were wanting a phone and didn't get a chance getting some idea when more stock will be made available. The backorder group have it the worst, being left completely in the lurch on a purchase they had rightfully made. Compensation for them is "free shipping" when the device becomes available again, not insignificant, but not much in the way of an apology from Google either.
The group eagerly awaiting the opportunity to throw their money at Google, of which I am one, are often obsessively visiting the play store to check availability, hoping that by lucky chance they will see that aqua "Add to Cart" button and be allowed to purchase. In my case the obsession occasionally borders on unhealthy, giving rise to the enrollment in various mechanisms that promise a prompt notification of availability, sometimes at the cost of real american dollars. My skepticism of the reliability and/or timeliness of these various services is evident in my continued search for more of their brothers. The latest and hopefully final incarnation being a paid ($1.02) app for my current Google phone that will check availability with frequencies as low as once per minute and upon discovery, notify me through some alert.
Why such a rush to buy another phone when I have a phone that is fairly new as it is you may ask? Simple, the sooner I switch from my current provider (Verizon) to T-Mobile the more money I will save over the next year. Each month that I have to wait is about $40 less in savings over the year, so I'm motivated.
Not to mention I'm very excited for the new tech. The biggest thing that kills me about my current phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) is that despite being branded as a Google phone the is upgraded processes are very much governed by Verizon's slow to push updates mentality. Not to mention the inclusion/exclusion of certain apps on the stock images make the phone a Google phone in name only, and not in reality. Its like I have the bastard brother of the Nexus line, last for updates and the one who the carriers have the most control over.
There are rumors that more stock will be coming into the store tomorrow, but there are still people with unfulfilled backorders so that would surprise me. *fingers crossed*