Found the problem. Although I followed the steps in KB-03112, there was something that didn't work quite right. After attaching the database in SQL, I then followed these steps on the BES:
11. On both instances of BlackBerry Enterprise Server, click Start > Programs > BlackBerry Enterprise Server > BlackBerry Server Configuration, then click Change Database.
12. In the confirmation dialog box, click Yes, then click Next.
13. In the SQL Server Name field, type the new server name.
14. In the Database Name field, type the same configuration database name.
15. Complete the BlackBerry Server Configuration procedure.
16. In the ODBC Data Source Administrator of the Microsoft Administrative Tools, click the System DSN tab.
17. From the System Data Sources, select the configuration database and click Configure.
18. From the Which SQL server do you want to connect to? drop-down list, choose the correct MSDE or SQL Server.
19. Click Next and verify the other options are set correctly.
20. When the ODBC Microsoft SQL Server Setup window appears, click Test Data Source to establish proper connectivity to the configuration database.
Those steps all worked without any errors. However, upon completion of steps 11-15, the database name was supposed to get automatically changed in the Blackberry Server Management properties (on the Database tab) - and it did not
change there. It was still pointing to the BES, which was causing the problems. I changed it to point to the SQL server, rebooted the BES and activations completed without a hitch.
I almost feel smart since I figured this out before RIM answered the phone