Moving this to the tickets discussion board, since it's a better fit. Welcome to ePlaya nevertheless.
They've probably been 'the man' since before the LLC was formed. As organizers (and owners) of the event, that's part of the gig - taking responsibility to make the decisions and get 'er done. And probably from the very moment that happened, someone was bitching about it and talking about how non-burning man they were being ad nauseum.
Scarcity's a bitch. In an environment where you've already had more than half the tickets sell in 48 hours, half the city's population planning to buy earlier or hoard tickets for campmates, and advances in bot software that could wreak havoc on a first-come first-serve system, they felt something needed to be done. Forget about there being no tickets come March, there's a good chance there could have been no tickets by late January. Read the FAQ
, and in particular the 'General FAQ' section towards the bottom of the page, it answers a few other questions related to your gripe. Registration reduces the threat from scalpers (since they can filter known scammers/scalpers as well as take bot software out of the equation). 40K tickets in the January drawing means those who plan ahead have a huge chance of getting tickets (only around 30K tickets were sold in January 2011, unless hoarding is out of control there should be plenty to go around). And 10K (along with any spares from January) going on open sale in March gives other burners a chance (though odds drop significantly as time goes by). The ticket resale system that's being built will make it easy for burners to do the right thing and sell tickets to other burners at face value when they're unable to use them, instead of putting tickets on eBay or Craig's List.
If it was simply a money play, they wouldn't have done a thing and they would have had lower administration costs and the ticket revenues would have come in sooner. As for ticket prices, to be quite honest I'm surprised they didn't go up for 2011. This will be the 11th price increase, if you count the first year they first started charging for tickets (back in 1995 I believe). And I don't think there had ever been a three year period without a price bump - it was simply due.
It's okay if you take a year off, sometimes that can be a good thing.