Agreed the launch was a failure, however the game is great -when- you can play it.
Maxis generally puts out good product and they will patch and fix these issues. Stuff ran great during the beta tests, but to go this massive...there's bound to be bugs. I work in software and have seen game releases for ages. Most online games have a shakedown even when they go live. Asheron's Call, Star Wars Galaxies, you name it...ti's happened.
There is the whole issue of making it online only, however I don't have a huge problem with that. It's making sure you can continue to play if the servers go down that's the issue. If the servers stay active, and there is some recovery where your local game still gets saved then synced later when connection is re-esablished...well, that's what I'd really want.
Had fun in the Blue Barchetta - Imperial Blue Metallic 2010 Camaro SS/RS with Ground Effects, Beige Interior, 6speed Manual.
I fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar. Tires spitting gravel I commit my weekly crime.