You know how the industry keeps labeling people "entitled" whenever they take any issue whatsoever with what it's doing? Well this form of always on DRM that Sim City is using - you know, the reason why many who bought the game can't play it at this moment - is an example of why people take umbrage.
Everyone understands that companies have the right to, and a need to, protect their property as well as do the best they can to ensure sales. That's normal, expected, and accepted. But when you pay for a game, you ARE "entitled" to be allowed to play said game. Especially when their own people not 24 hours earlier go into interviews and talk about how the servers have been stress tested and are ready for launch. Those interviews aren't just innocent, excusable interactions with fans and media personnel. They're ADVERTISING.
When you advertise that your servers are ready for launch, and people pay for the game partially on the basis of that advertisement, they ARE "entitled" to get what they think they paid for. This is why always-on DRM gets such a bad rap, and why people don't understand and don't accept being called "entitled whiners" by the industry they love and want to support in exchange for gaming experiences they desire.
Meanwhile, pirates manage to crack these forms of DRM in short order. So it doesn't do a lot to deter piracy, and only really causes an inconvenience for paying customers. If it's not going to deter piracy more than an activation key, then why not take a hint from companies like Stardock, and just use activation keys? Stardock's philosophy seems to be that more intrusive forms of DRM don't protect them more than activation keys do, and they *shock and gasp* would rather not INCONVENIENCE THEIR PAYING CUSTOMERS. I know. What a radical concept, right?
That's why they get the kind of loyalty that ensures that many will ride out buggy launches like Elemental, and still be around when they finally fix the game and release something like Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. And they are only one example of companies who treat their customers right and get their loyalty in return. EA: please take note.