There is no inherit benefit to being always online on a console, it should be the users choice if they wish to play connected to the internet or not. People move houses, people have internet outages, people have unreliable connections (even satellite broadband), people travel on holiday/army service/to visit relatives who do not have internet access, people have dialup, people live in developing countries, people live under broadband monopolies (australia with high prices/low caps?) and the people's list goes on.
Mix those occurrences with the majority of adults working in full time jobs, 9-5 or more each week, and yeah missing out on your small daily/weekly 30 minute window of gaming due to 1~3 of the internet outages you get a year IS going to **** you off if all you planned to do was play a SP game. It was unnecessary for you to miss out, you've been playing single player games for 20 years with or without your internet access, and now you can't? For what good?
It is one further step closer to completely removing ownership of a product you've bought by enforcing draconian DRM. It's fine saying you cannot use PSN/XBL without agreeing to conditions, but you cannot use your console at all unless you have internet access?
It's an increasingly grim time to be a gamer if this goes through/becomes standard. You are a very ignorant person if you believe the world revolves around you, your home and your internet connection. Gaming was brought about to try and involve gamers of all ages and locations, not you and your United States of America (not a dig at America, it just seems as if large amounts OF Americans forget about the rest of the world).
Lastly if this all turns out to be untrue, it was not simply a waste of time, this gives these companies a clear indication of how annoyed they will make lots of customers if they turn to such anti-consumerist approaches.
This is a waste of time. For all the reasons you mention and then some, people can and will speak with their wallets should a company choose to go this route. Spending this amount of time bantering on about a rumor is a waste because they've already made up their mind. When they actually say "your console needs to be always on", that's a more appropriate time to spend all this time discussing it. And you're absolutely right that there's no vast benefit to implementing this, which is why I believe the rumor isn't true.
Wait until they actually say something, then come out and say whatever you want. Or better yet, just don't buy the console. Until then, this is just fanning unnecessary flames.