I see your point but I don't make the distinction. I see Blizzard providing working servers as equivilent to my ISP routing traffic. The game itself is irrelevant. It's about service. Whether it worked properly for 5 minutes or 5 years prior to having problems, those problems are a failure to provide advertised service. You see it as two parts being, ISP and game. I see it as three parts being ISP, connectivity and game. I don't blame you as traditionally we never tend to think of game companies providing a service since games are often a one time purchase. Maybe this isn't what you meant but I stand by what I said. However I can see the merit in what you said also.This metaphor doesn't work.
Let's replace Diablo 3 with your car. Imagine you buy a new Chevrolet, and unlike previous models this particular car requires a constant OnStar connection to operate. Now, you get into your car, insert the key and turn it. Nothing happens. It takes you a couple minutes to learn that the OnStar servers are down because they couldn't handle the load of all the new cars that require it to operate. Suddenly, you realize that even though you handed over a stack of cash for this car, it is worthless to you unless GM keeps the OnStar servers up and running. The guy who sold you the car told you how robust and awesome the OnStar system was and that you had nothing to worry about, but here you are, borrowing rides from your neighbor for the first three days of new car ownership all because GM couldn't hold up their end of the deal. Do you think that is acceptable? What about 6 months down the line...12 months? Is it ever acceptable?
I'm not presuming to say that a game is the same thing as a car, but the principle is the same. Whether you pay a monthly fee or not, if developers are going to force us to depend on them to keep our software working, then we should discard the tradition of accomodating failure as a normal thing and start expecting a certain level of performance out of the gate. It doesn't matter to us how they get to that point, only that they do.
Anyways, my overall point was that as games become more dependent on internet access to even operate, our tolerance for day one problems should be inversely proportional.