If you get an error that looks like the below, be sure that you are importing the correct version of django(which is to say, that if you are using the builtin version, be sure you are not also importing another version of django from your sitepackages). Appcfg automatically follows all symlinks and packages up everything on your pythonpath, and the import order in production is different (actually reversed!) from that in development.
I solved this problem by deactivating my virtualenv whenever I deploy.
facepalms: 8 (3 hours of nonsense for a 1-line fix!)
Traceback (most recent call last): File "/base/python27_runtime/python27_lib/versions/1/google/appengine/runtime/wsgi.py", line 193, in Handle result = handler(self._environ, self._StartResponse) File "/base/python27_runtime/python27_lib/versions/third_party/django-1.2/django/core/handlers/wsgi.py", line 232, in __call__ self.load_middleware() File "/base/python27_runtime/python27_lib/versions/third_party/django-1.2/django/core/handlers/base.py", line 40, in load_middleware mod = import_module(mw_module) File "/base/python27_runtime/python27_lib/versions/third_party/django-1.2/django/utils/importlib.py", line 35, in import_module __import__(name) File "/base/python27_runtime/python27_lib/versions/third_party/django-1.2/django/middleware/transaction.py", line 1, in