Okay, so my first impression is that if you are going to get yourself a Nook, make sure that you go to the Barnes & Noble boards and read them. I did and had no issues getting into the packaging. However, it comes in a cardboard sleeve, once you get that off, there is a plastic box, the box is tough to get into but it actually holds the Nook in place and keeps it safe, so it actually is a good thing.
After you get the box open the Nook is in a cradle that literally does not allow the Nook to move on inch at all. The USB and wall plug are in a small box in the bottom of the plastic box, DO NOT THROW AWAY.
My Nook is charging, that is what they recommend for the first step, but I have already registered it, which you need a Barnes & Noble account to do. Make sure that you have a credit card associated with the account, it makes it easier.