Wow, it looks like Microsoft might actually be doing something right, it turns out it is a freephone number for the UK, although not quite 24x7 they at least operate 7 days a week and open till 22:00 week nights.
Combine this with 2K Elizabeth's assurances to be on hand should you have problems with getting more activations, well that's me sold. As unpalettable as I still find any limit to activations, I think this is a system that is at least giving the customer enough room to work with.
I've just placed my pre-order on steam, and found that they are giving you BS1 for free it's downloading now I joined these forums over 2 years ago to protest the DRM in BS1 and never did get the game on PC, so I'm really looking forward to playing.
Thanks again to 2K Elizabeth and 2K themselves for being flexible. I realise that many of you might still not be happy for one reason or another and I wish you well in the fight against the plague that is DRM, but for me this particular fight is over.