Update: We spoke with Apple about this, who wouldn't give us much beyond the official quote -- which is, for the record: "Duplicate MEID codes were flashed onto an extremely small number of iPad units for the Verizon 3G network." That said, we were able to confirm that a few of these 3G iPad 2s sneaked through and got into the hands of customers. Apple is, of course, replacing those free of charge, so if you're in possession of a brand new iPad that was never able to get on 3G... you know who to call.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.