I agree that this is functionality we need.
I just created a course and want people to be able to register/pay, but I do not want them to actually access the course content until a particular future date. It seems that a potential solution would be to include a field in the settings -
Delay access for enrolled until [DATE].
In this way, whether a manual, self, or payment registration is made, the individual would be enrolled, but have no access.
It seems this would solve the situation with David's staggered access, as well as my "pay now/start later" issue.