Everyone likes to throw the "perceived advantage" thing around but having 3-4 extra weeks to rebrew one or more of your entries is definitely an advantage. I have no problem waiting for the May 4th deadline, but feel that some will have a 4 week jump on others just doesn't seem fair.
I'm not sure how to fix it and don't envy those who are assigned the task.
Why can't we have the first round judging happen earlier in the year(or even before the holidays)? If we could lengthen the time between first round results and final round shipping(to months instead of weeks), then a four-week advantage wouldn't matter as much. This would mean that a lot more beers would *have* to be re-brewed(wheat beers, hoppy beers, etc.), but at least you'd have time to plan.