The initial list of 2012 DDP restaurants is out (http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-dining...rticipatingddp). In past years, this initial list would later fill out with more 3rd-party participants (Via Napoli, San Angel Inn... any restaurant Disney doesn't own). But I've heard second-hand that for 2012 there may not be many 3rd party participants, because the DDP makes them lose money. The 2011 list of restaurants is much longer (look in particular at Epcot - http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-dining-plan.htm#ddp2012http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-dining-plan.htm#ddp2012).
Assuming the list of restaurants is shorter in 2012, that could change the calculus for the DDP. If the prices stay the same (or inch up, as they usually do), it will be a case of the customer getting less for the same money - classic declining by degrees. That's the one side of the coin.
On the other hand, if this change happens it will be GOOD for locals, who can now saunter in to a restaurant on the day-of without reservations. For that matter, tourists who didn't plan ahead will win, also.
On balance, therefore, I find this to be a good thing. I'm against the "scheduling" of every last facet of a vacation (how fun is that?) so I hope those third party restaurants do stay out of it. Maybe their menus will improve again.
This is all contingent on the list really staying shorter - I don't have secondary confirmation of that yet, so grain of salt and all.