That's more or less the reason why I'm staying away from things like Steam and Windows XP - I don't like the idea of not having control over stuff I own.
It's also why I really REALLY hate StarDock for tricking people saying they don't have copy protection, when in fact they do in the form of their forced-registration crap (If you want a non-buggy game!).
If Steam was like, you download it and you can burn it to DVD and then never have to worry about it ever again, then I'd be more for it, but the fact is if somebody hacked the Steam server and deleted it and everybody's accounts, or Valve got eaten by EA or sued into oblivion, I wouldn't be able to install any of those programs anymore because of that external third-party dependency.
Frankly, in my eyes there is NO REASON why we should need to do stuff like that anyway - It's all because of their paranoia and control-freakness.
The worst thing is that all that hoop-jumping doesn't even do any good! The games are not cheaper (Rising costs being blamed mainly on piracy, so why is NEVER cheaper??), and they are no better protected than anything else! And then there's all the post-sales stuff.
When HL2 came out, my friend (Who bought it retail, the sap
) was unable to play it for something like 2 weeks because of the servers snarling up. He couldn't understand why he needed to download such a large chunk of crap when he'd BOUGHT the damned DVD.
After getting fed up, he decided to get his money back and get something he COULD play.
And he couldn't.
The store wouldn't refund him because the box was open, Valve wouldn't refund it because he didn't buy it from them, and he couldn't sell it because it was already tied to his Steam account.
To be fair, he did eventually get it running when he found a cracked version on SuprNova...