That is one UGLY screenshot. I hope people upgrading to 12.10 and keeping the "ubuntu-desktop" package don't get stuck with the shopping lens. Unity needs to lose weight anyway. and on top of all else two of the last three comments raised legal issues. According to those posts, Ubuntu would become illegal to distribute in Europe, which as a practical matter would mean European mirrors would have to shut down and no computer maker in Europe would be able to install Ubuntu by default.
That would really suck, and be worse than the shopping lens itself, which is easily removed.
As an experienced user, I always blacklist anything called "shopping" from all my machines and from my personal private fork of Ubuntu. The real problem would be for a new user who has yet to learn to use the terminal to remove the shopping lens. Another problem would be public access computers running Ubuntu from a live disk, sometimes done for security reasons at activist media centers in macnines with hard drives removed for security reasons. Amazon logs would then substitute for the missing hard drives if the FBI, et al wanted to know what was going on at those computers, unless the shopping lens was re-removed at every boot from the live disk.
If Canonical won't exile the shopping lens to installable from repo, maybe a "remove ads from operating system" script executable by mouse click on the default desktop or even in the first run HUD so users unfamiliar with the terminal can take it out as soon as they install? Would sure save live-disk sysadmins in activst media centers a lot of time.