I was just going to post after I've read the comments...
Dreamhost is one of the best - probably THE best, friendliest, most human and most attentive company I've ever dealt with. I'm really sorry this happened to them.
Two lessons there: one is contained in the blog entry, for coders. It was really dumb to let the system accept a future date for billing, and not even flag it for confirmation as suspicious.
The other lesson is never to leave your credit card in the hands of an automated billing system, at least if you have that option. DH gives you an option to keep your CC on file and rebill automatically, but you can say no to that easily on the same page where you pay the bill. And even if you choose the auto option, you can limit the max amount they can charge, the default being $100 IIRC.
I remember thinking about this when I was signing up 4 years ago, and deciding that filling out the invoice form manually once a year is a good deal if I get 100% peace of mind in return. I wish all my decisions turned out like this
Now if enough of the po'ed customers gang up and take DH through a legal grinder, I might find myself without my domain, and then
I'll be po'ed too!