From Bambam, who is one of our TS admins: "Users on Teamspeak cannot create user channels with passwords anymore. The idea is to allow players to have people to talk to when they log on. Right now all the players just remain in their locked channels."
In short, we want our gaming community to be just that... a community. Players hiding in locked channels with their small groups of friends diminishes that and just leads to schoolyard "clique" behavior. In an effort to reduce that, we removed user-created channels and passwords. We hope our existing players will take this opportunity to be diplomats not just in name, but in their actions (chatting with new and existing players alike to have fun together).
As for the "paying customer" comment, please don't misunderstand. We appreciate our donators, without whom we would not be able to maintain the servers and would likely need to cut back on what we offer quite a bit. However, user channels were a nice "extra," but one which needed to be reconsidered upon seeing how people were using them. They were never guaranteed.