I think some readers are over analyzing things and misinterpreting what I've written about our process.
Applications move through different phases of review. In the first phase, each folder is read by two readers. In the second phase, the application pool is looked at as a group and decisions get reviewed again.
At this time, decisions are not finalized.
As I've written before, we want to get decisions out as soon as possible. We do not want to delay this process in any way. When decisions are finalized, the printers will start churning out 18,000 decision letters. After that, our administrative staff will stuff 18,000 envelopes. Finally, the letters are put in the mail. The evening that letters are put in the mail, decisions will appear on your status pages (if you applied online).
Using the search feature at the top of the page or the tag feature (most entries are tagged to reflect their subject), you can read last year's entries from around this time to familiarize yourself with the timing of the process.