I recently blogged about reactivating software - having rebuilt my computer I needed to get my activation keys for Mind Genius and Capture One reset. Neither was a huge problem - a quick e-mail, wait a couple of business hours and and I'm back in business. (A pain if your working out of hours but hey.). A year or so ago my phone died and I had to go through the some process with my ALK co-pilot sat nav software. Again it just took a quick e-mail.
I've been listening to a colleague trying to do the same for TomTom after his phone needed to be replaced (he's had some bad luck and this isn't the first replacement).
In the time that has been wasted (and remember he has no sat-nav at all while this is going on) he could have activated vista over the phone a few dozen times. It's taken me less time to build my vista machine, activate it and reactive Mind Genius and Capture one. I think he might be switching to Co-pilot (especially as TomTom have told him his version is going out of support shortly).