But Adobe did actually go out of their way to try to warn people that they should de-activate and properly un-install the beta before trying to install the GM.
There's even a script for removing the beta...see: CS3Clean Script.
Jeff, with all due respect Adobe has created a monumental screw-up. You have more experience in this business than I do, but I have NEVER EVER seen so much rigmarole and risk surrounding the removal and installation of two pieces of software. With sufficient time, planning and foresight it is unimagineable for people of that intelligence and experience level that they could not have most likely avoided most of the trouble customers are having by anticipating uninstall issues with the Beta before releasing it in the first place. Now they are playing catch-up because they failed to do this, so they've published several documents describing several whole processes. Before we even go there, the fact that all this stuff is needed tells you what I'm saying.
But then when you start reading those documents, the real risk dawns. If normal de-activation and uninstall doesn't work, then you need to either follow a large number of instructions to do it manually, or if you don't fancy that - risk your computer's life using their Clean Script Tool. Did you read Adobe's warning that accompanies their CleanScript Tool? I've just today been looking into the purchase of Acronis True Image 10 to mirror my hard-drive because of the extent of possible damage and back-up Adobe so dutifully warns us about in case we need to use this tool of theirs. (Well, mirroring one's HD is probably a good idea anyhow, but I didn't need Adobe's problems to trigger it for me.)
I'm sorry - beta/shmeta, this is thoroughly unacceptable, and in my case will not be repeated, because they have lost my confidence. I'm waiting another week or two to see how this evolves before I install my CS3 up-grade, but I shall not trust Adobe with Beta software again unless it comes with firm commitments to respect such basic useability as removing it without risk when finished.