I really don't see what most of the fuss is. Microsoft is a business, and businesses are in business to stay in business. Piracy hurts them financially, and if they can do something to fight it, then that's their right. It's not like they are actively shutting down people's machines, as certain other companies have tried to do in the past. Microsoft is still offering security updates to everyone, legitimate or otherwise, and they've even gone so far as to offer free or discounted copies of Windows XP if you can prove that you thought you were buying the real thing. The only real change is if you've stolen your copy of Windows, you won't be able to download all the nice goodies that Microsoft gives out for free. Big whooptie-doo.
I can see, however, how it would be a bit annoying at first for IT Managers (such as myself). Every computer in the company will need to be validated (here, that's 30-something machines) one at a time. But this is a one-time inconvenience, which will add maybe an extra 30 seconds per machine when doing the next round of normal system maintenance.
This is still much less annoying and much less invasive than some of the copy protection schemes that other companies have used, such as dongles, complicated code sheets, requiring a CD to be in the drive, installing things into the boot sector, or constantly phoning home.
So, Microsoft Validation: Bring it on!