Does it have a tri-fold pamphlet inside about finaid? I got something that sounds like that in early November, via snail mail, about 2 weeks after I submitted my app. I got admitted, but not not until just recently.
I actually received my only e-mail acceptance at 7pm EST from an east coast school. I only remember because I was at work in Seattle and I was really surprised it came so "late" in the school's time zone.
I think of it more as a question of what plans you have for the JD in the end. The value of the prestige is completely dependent upon your goals. If you're looking to become a public servant of some nature then it wouldn't really make sense to pay for Harvard. Just my .02 coming from a likely future prosecutor.
I'm probably a great test case for the veracity of the status checker. I live in Seattle, so if it WAS ready for mailing on Jan. 15 (or more likely mailed after the holiday) as the status checker said then I should get it today.....or so I've got myself convinced because I can't get home for another couple of hours to check....