At first I saw this is the marketing nightmare it is and through the eyes of a consumer, which I believe is fair. But I also think WHS has a fair point - regardless of crippling the system, Microsoft makes far less money on netbooks than they do on other hardware sales like laptops and desktops.
If netbooks were priced similarly to laptops, I think people would have more incentive to be upset. But as it is, when you purchase a netbook you're getting a somewhat functional machine for a very cheap price. That's the incentive, in many cases. If Microsoft is providing a path towards upgrading the OS to a normal state in a relatively painless manner, I think that's fair. They are, after all, a business and driven towards profit.
I guess what it comes down to for me is that you're getting what you pay for. If you weren't, I would be more incensed, but in reality you really do get what you pay for.