Yes. Now I also think so. From that that I saw before - It is the most plausible reason. Now we just need to know the critical level of affiliate links which is triggers the penalty.
Absolutely not. My site was recovered without reinclusion request. I didn't sent a request just because as you can see from their disclaimer, if you are filling a request, you plead guilty. I'm not guilty. My site is clean, my site is related, my site has lot of related links and unique content. I'm not guilty just because I have a few ads on my site which G dislike. These are their problems - not mine!
Everybody loves money. Looks like G likes money too much, and can manipulate their own ranking, violating their own principles, just for forcing sites to use G's adsense. Well, congrats to G!