I've got this issue too.
For me it looks like podcasts with big backlists have trouble loading on the iPhone. Sometimes this crashes out iTunes, but the majority of the time it just takes a LONG time to load.
So my screen will look like the screenshot that canadianstarbuck posted, but If I wait 5 minutes or more, it will eventually properly load.
I'm guessing that interface wasn't just optimized for big backlist podcasts.
The various Apple news sites are reporting that among other things Apple is revamping the store and associated store apps. This lends some credence to the idea that what we are seeing is a result of "back end" tinkering as they prepare the services for new apps and functions.
The iTunes store app didn't change, but it's interaction with the store servers did. If that is the case, then indeed there is nothing that Support can do but apologize and wait. I'll be curious to see what gets said at WWDC next week.
Curiously, and for no particular reason, the iTunes store app on my iPad (3) started working again with large podcasts. No such luck on my iPhone. Fortunately, the podcast that started this whole thread for me (NPR's Planet Money) has just released their own self-contained app. It's very good, and will do for now!