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There's a LOTRO tab on this site that has a server status bit: http://motty.000space.com/
If that says the servers are up and you still are unable to connect, then make sure you are either using a new account created from the lotro.com page (via that 'play for free!' sidebar thing), or a turbine account that was used to play the retail game in the past. An old beta account will not work, for example.