Ton confirms on the Elephants Dream website that the total number of downloads has now passed 500,000. Because not all the numbers from the mirrors are in yet, he estimates that the real number may be as high as 1,000,000.
During the first two weeks after the release, the media attention was staggering. We (the blender.org webservice team) had already learned how to survive Slashdot, but this time there were not one, but TWO articles on Slashdot (here and here), one popular post on the Digg.com homepage and articles on CGSociety, Newforge, Wired and DivxStation.
There were hundreds of other sites linking to the Orange blog (and some even to BlenderNation!) and the overall effect was a mega-Slashdotting that lasted for a full seven days. The only thing we could do was to switch off the Orange blog, replace it with one static HTML file and remove all the download links that pointed to download.blender.org.
By now, the site is still very busy but the were low enough to restore the blog.