Here's the thing I took away:
If I played offline, and wanted to play with a friend, I had to create a whole new character. It didn't matter if I was 99 offline. Going online meant starting that grind all over again. It didn't make me mad, but it did annoy me a little. That and I was a bit of a purest - I didn't hack my way through D2(like I did in D1).
Frankly, I don't mind the online requirement. It allows them to update that much quicker. It allows me to take the character I've been playing for hours upon hours alone, and help my wife level her character. It allows me to choose, alone or with others, without leaving a game, or needing to switch to a new character.
I really don't get the hostility to any of this. If you don't like it, don't play. Pure and simple. So many other games on PC require online, yet this is the one every one is complaining about.
It's funny how people say things like "blizzard hates their playerbase" when their playerbase are the ones who act like arrogant morons. Diablo 3 is not Diablo 2 and never will be. It has different goals and ideals that it wants to accomplish. Thankfully, they are not a complacent company who carbon copies their games and puts them out under a different title coughValvecough. I guarantee people will whine when the auction house is gone because they didn't realize they were complaining about the wrong things. Diablo players just love to whine for some reason.
This is an online game made to have a community. Offline mode would destroy the almost non-existing community it already has. Sure it sucks sometimes I can't play unless I have a connection but I rather that then my character/gear being worthless because people could easily hack or mod their character to be the same.