A DRE is normally associated with slower internet connections.
If your ISP uses traffic shaping then this can cause the problem, or if you are logging on at particularly busy times (as it would be over Christmas).
What happens with the DRE is that there are a couple of files that get downloaded as you log on - and they get downloaded every time.
If they haven't finished downloading by the time you get to the character screen & try to start the game then you get the DRE.
I used to get this problem when my ISP introduced traffic shaping, and the way I found to get around it is to wait for a few seconds at every stage of the log on.
I'd wait 5-10 seconds at the initial log on screen, another 5-10 seconds before selecting a server, then another 5-10 seconds before selecting a toon.
This usually fixed it.