Unless Mary Jo Foley is a liar..
She was at a Nokia event on September 5 in New York. She said they agreed to literally place the 920 in her palm, providing she did not attempt to touch, flip, fiddle, or otherwise try to get a realistic view of the phone. She was basically able to ascertain its weight, end of story.
Twitter isn't completely making this behavior up. It's the physical equivalent of not releasing the Win8 Phone SDK. Because, then, a developer might SEE A FEATURE of the phone. And then, of course, the universe would implode in on itself.