It's always been a problem for me, having to try MANY times to get through. But I've been unable to get on at all the past 3 or 4 days. (I'm goin' through withdrawl here!) In the past, when I do get on, I only see 30-40 people online playing. Is that considered an excessive server load? And there is a 50/50 chance as to whether the in-game chat "i" to see who is online will be grayed out. Once I do get through, it seems to run fine, so I'm doubtful that the message really has anything to do with server load in my case.
I have high bandwidth internet via statilite. As you can imagine it is also high latency. The game only rarely seems to have enough patience for me to get on. As I look at netstat while it tries, I can see it rotating through trying a different server each time I try.
My log file also shows same error when it checks for program udpates, yet no message is issued to the user allowing a retry there. This can make it impossible to play new puzzles that require an update to the program, so if it was unable to actually complete the check for updates, that would really be nice to know without having to dig in to the log files to make this determination.
Please make the TCP accesses more patient before timing out.