It seems that EA is backtracking after all the issues of the copy protection on Spore.
Rod Humble, head of Maxis has posted on the Sims 3 website that they will not be using DRM methods this time around. The game will have the disc based protection, there will not be any online authentication.
Rod said "We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorization server access in the distant future."
Well Rod, we hope so and look forward the latest edition to the Sims franchise.