A few days ago I read a post with a similar assertion. When everything is labeled ASAP nothing is will actually be expidited. Currently I'm looking at the SouthWest website. They have options for EarlyBird and Business class tickets.
If you purchase your tickets early enough you get a nice discount. With a few extra bucks you can get an early bird ticket which means that your position in line is selected prior to everyone else but most likely in chronological order that this feature was purchased by all passengers. (beginning at row A-16)
If your not lucky enough to get a discount ticket then you have to pay full fair. You can also purchase the EarlyBird option or you can elect to purchase the business class which will get you inline in positions A-1 to A-15.
The only way to win the lottery here... buy your tickets early and get what you want. If you do not purchase the earlybird and you forget to check-in on time you're going to be the last to board. (unless you have kids or need assistance).