Just as an additional data point to anyone following... I had very similar problems. Fought with it for 24 hours. I remembered someone mentioning issues with DM 4.7. I uninstalled everything; DM, all OS, & deleted the whole RIM folder in Common Files. I then installed the most current version of DM 4.6. Just OS 266. Did the normal Wipe, Install, Restore of my data.
The Activation went without a hitch.
Was it 4.7? Did I have something corrupt in the older install? I tend to believe the latter. When I did the .247 install a month or so ago, I had all kinds of issues getting BBM to actually show up. Had to fiddle and fiddle to get it working again. I had the same issue with the first installs of .266; BBM showed installed in the app list but was no where to be found on the Bold. No one could send me messages.
When I did the system clean of DM 4.7 and moved to 4.6, everything showed up as expected. BBM was back in the Instant Messaging folder. So I can't say for SURE it was 4.7. But I won't be upgrading from DM 4.6 until there is a very good reason.
YMMV. This is just one more data point to look into if you are having issues with Activation.