Greetings. I have been following the posts on the site for a while and I must say I like the forum. Here's my post on this general topic. Its pretty long actually:
It is quite difficult to figure out what NetSol is doing with the DNS. Each name is different and none can be predicted to act in a certain way. Even so, there are several general trends and most of the names tend to fall within these parameters, except for the one YOU want. (It always seems to work that way.)
NetSol generally places expired names (expired meaning the expiration date has passed) into what is known as a "grace period". Similar to a credit card grace period before penalties, the registry will not drop the name until further notified by the registrar. This "grace period" generally lasts about 45 to 60 days.
After the 45 to 60 day grace period, NetSol puts the name in a "drop cycle" which lasts about 5 or 6 days. After this 5 or 6 days, the name will be released, generally around 6:30am EST. (The registry is located in Virginia.)
Other names get stuck and there is no telling what's going on. NetSol WILL tell you on occasion what's really going on...
You can easily tell when NetSol names go into the "drop cycle" because the DNS record in the whois will disappear and be replaced by words to the effect of "local whois DB out of date".
Today there are almost as many names dropping each day as there are being registered and there are several good expiring domain name lists available on the net that range from free to around $99 a year. They come out by email everywhere from every day to once a week.
The best way to get the name you really want (90% of names are not being used I think) is to go to a name list place like www.domainsbot.com for a list of names (there are others if you search "expired domain names").
Also there is a new company called www.snapnames.com that will backorder the name for you and register it for you for a year when it drops. They charge $35 and they give a money-back guarantee if they can't get the name for you.
(There was an interesting article in USAToday about these two companies and a couple of others last week. Its probably on the Internet.)
Anyways, I hope that helps and that I didn't bore anyone.