Saudi Visa - no go
After five months and a thousand promises I didn't get my Saudi visa. They haven't refused it, they just haven't "received approval from Riyadh to issue it". The embassy reckons the Dept of Interior is "worried about me in the current dangerous climate". I didn't bother to remind them that I lodged my application two months before the oil depot bombing. They really started taking the piss when explaining they were having trouble working out arrangements for an escort for me(!).
I had four months notice, impeccable documentation and sponsor, and a friendly senior KSA embassy guy (lives in my building) - all to no avail. I know of others who have got in - just the throw of the runes I reckon.
If I had any advice for prospective applicants I'd say be vague about your route. The Saudis asked me for a detailed route with roads, towns and accommodations. When writing up a south-north journey it looks pretty big on paper. If I'd have told them I was just ducking over the border and back it might have been less daunting. I have no idea whether this is useful advice, but it is what I'll be trying in six months when I apply again!
Incidently, the next hardest was Iran - a piece of cake really - at three weeks and a personal phone call from the embassy to confirm the visa. Syria took 45 minutes and a recommendation to visit his family's restaurant in Aleppo.