Well, Soulstorm also has disk check unlike Dark Crusade... ask THQ why.
In any case, altough i'm going to buy a copy in my country or maybe the UK (quite cheap just now and better service with preorders), if Stardock gets the game for Impulse, i'll buy it again there.
Oh, and there is open beta the 28th of this month (21st if you are a Soulstorm owner). I would suggest you to try it if you can, so you can judge if you could be interested in it.
And DRM free games get pirated a lot? That's not to worry as it's, unfortunately, expected (people likes free stuff without consecuences, right?). What is to worry is how many of those pirates (and legit users) will decide to buy the game because of the free DLC stuff, patches, maps... and the game itself.