FWIW the stats on 2L firm placement from Vanderbilt for the last two years go roughly as follows:
Class of 2009: 78% in firms, 64% NLJ250, 42% V100, almost everyone w/ offers
Class of 2010: 66% in firms, 49% NLJ250, 31% V100, multiple no-offers from Winston, Paul Hastings, etc.
Class of 2011: 50% hired as of November (so probably 45-50% in firms), no breakdown as of now (#s are released when the school publishes the Recruitment Handbook at the beginning of the summer, reports on no-offers after that are essentially all anecdotal)
Unfortunately the forthcoming NLJ 250 chart is going to use the still-outdated Class of 2009 stats, which means it will be even less useful for prospective students than last year's chart (the one linked to on the first page). NLJ is two years behind, not just one.
The only reliable information on ITE placement is what we can get from the schools themselves. Since schools are largely resistant to transparency, I would argue the only reliable information right now is what current students can provide. I used to think prospectives can leverage their acceptances to glean info from the schools but after saying that for two years with little result, I'm inclined to go back on that claim. I still think it's possible but it doesn't seem like many people are interested in contacting schools and demanding to see more comprehensive information than charts or representative lists of where graduates have gone over the last 5 years. There have to be people with similar information on current placement drops to what I've got... our stat for the current 2Ls comes from the Dean in a letter sent out to the entire student body.
Regarding the OP's question, the 50% or so of our 2L class who had jobs as of last November are not necessarily the top 50% in the class, though it probably captures just about everyone in the top 1/3 or so excluding those pursuing public interest options. Once you get out of the very top of the class it probably came down more to personality and aiming more at 'target' firms vs 'reach' firms. To my knowledge, very few students had the luxury of retaining 'safety' firms this year.
In short, the crazy application process all of you are stressing about right now is not nearly as ridiculous as what you can expect come OCI in a few years... strategy in picking the right firms can make or break whatever chances you will have at lining up a 2L firm gig. The real trick for you right now is trying to estimate what you can expect for a median salary in a few years, and then refraining from taking on more than a manageable level of debt. G'luck.