The principal goal of the experimental programme at the LHC is to make the first direct exploration of a completely new region of energies and distances, to the tera-electron-volt scale and beyond. The main objectives include the search for the Higgs boson and whatever new physics may accompany it, such as supersymmetry or extra dimensions, and also – perhaps above all – to find something that the theorists have not predicted.
So, to all those quacks who keep thinking that physicists only want to hold on to established principles, TAKE THAT!
It is safe to say that many centers throughout the world that has any kind of involvement with the LHC are now in the "preparation" mode ready to start digesting all the gazillion of data that will spew out of those detectors. While actual serious data-taking won't occur anytime soon, the setting-up of the infrastructure (hiring graduate students/postdoc/staff, getting enough computing power, exploring possible theoretical scenarios, etc.) have been going on for the past few years in anticipation of the LHC operation. In other words, many high energy physicists are almost as giddy as children the night before Christmas!
Let's just hope Santa doesn't bring only lumps of coal the next morning!