I think it's a glitch and nothing more. It's clearly a software fix, so no need to replace hardware units. If Microsoft can recover from RROD, Sony should be able to recover quickly from this. Keep in mind it's only the original models, so probably 20 - 25% of the installed base, and that likely fewer than half of users have tried to play in the last 24 hours (I know that I haven't tried). So only around 10% affected, and they will likely have a software patch in place by Friday. If they offer a free Pixeljunk download as compensation, they won't have any complaints.
Keeping a cool head, Pachter explores the reality behind the situation. As he states, it is likely that a number of PS3 owners haven't even attempted to play on their PlayStation 3 since the glitch hit. If the hardware isn't damaged, this should be an easy fix for Sony, especially if the company hands out a free game to those bitten by the bug.
Update: With regard to the math, I've reached out to Pachter for a clarification. Regardless of numbers, Michael's point about Microsoft's recovery from the Red Ring of Death holds that this shouldn't damage Sony in any major way if it is quickly resolved.