Thank you to all who have left comments regarding your experience trying to get through to California EDD. The comments section has clearly proven that Anna's method for getting through is also an effective way to get a live person. As a result, I think it deserves its own post on this website.
Here's the trick that has worked for many...
HERE'S WHAT WORKS EVERY TIME: hit 5 (as if you're an employer), then hit 1 when prompted, then hit 1 again when prompted, then hit 0 (to speak to a live person) - they will tell your wait time and then a nice person comes on - LIVE!!! This works better than anything out there - and I've tried them all!!!
Thanks to Anna for providing this effective trick!
*Poll added to post on May 28, 2013.