Activation ( and reactivation ) are pretty par for the course in the business tool world from what I've seen. I don't know that anyone really "likes" it, but it definitely serves a legitimate purpose.
This comment made me wonder, is this true? I work in an environment with airgaps around our network connections for security purposes and I can't think of a single tool that we use besides InstallShield that requires activation and/or reactivation.
Sure, Windows does (once) but they also offer a volume license key that doesn't require activation. Microsoft Office works the same way. Visual Studio, TFS and so on. Even our IBM/Rational products don't give us this problem and trust me, those are some pretty darn expensive tools. The only product that we use that I can think of is Robohelp.
So I'm curious, what are some of the products my readers use that require activation?