Good job completely ignoring all the good arguments in this thread because of one frustrating experience you had.
A problem that is most likely on your end to begin with, rather than a problem with Steam. You probably haven't even tried contacting steam support, since you seem so comfortable with thinking Steam sucks instead of trying to fix it.
Here's another problem with Steam.
I have two Towers in my house (one belongs to Sauron, one to Sarumon).
A friend gave me his nerd gaming tower some time ago. It's powerful enough to run some of the newer games like Civ 5 and such which I bought while my older tower which is some 6-7 years old will not.
One problem. The house uses a wireless router. My main computer has a wireless receiver, the gaming tower does not.
So despite the fact I own these games. And despite the fact I SHOULD be able to just transfer this **** on a USB drive from one tower to another, I'm betting that without an internet connection on my second tower I will be unable to play the games that I own (so far as Steam allows for ownership, which btw it doesn't). Compare this to GOG where I can just take the single install file off my computer, and put them onto the second computer and run them.
So if I actually want to play these games I have three options:
1. piss around with the wireless receiver, move back and forth between the two towers in order to install them.
2. Spend 100 dollars on a second receiver
3. Spend 300-400 or more dollars on a new computer to play these games.
or technically, also:
4. Make the gaming tower my main tower, something which I don't really want to do because it's butt ugly. It would still require me to move the receiver from one to the other.
Or maybe I can just straight copy the directories, but I would think that Steam is set up to disallow that.
FURTHERMORE, interesting point.
At the same time that Steam was saying that it "couldn't connect to the servers" I was posting a message about it on HLP. So I have an internet connection that is working, but Steam isn't working. When I retried 5-6 minutes later Steam connected fine without me messing around with anything.
So the most likely problem then was with Steam. Steam couldn't get access. Or perhas my internet connection hicupped for that one span of 30 seconds that Steam was trying to connect. So Steam isn't "always online DRM" but it is "needs to be online when you want to play your game" DRM which is not too far off. Granted it lets you play eventually but after 3-5 minutes of waiting. Three to five minutes of waiting was fine in the Apple II days, I don't consider it acceptable now. Especially when I'm not waiting for the actual game but for an unrelated client.
Though according to Scourge there's an offline by default mode. Which apparently isn't in the default options menu and requires a work around.
I'm sorry but any program that gets in the way of me playing my game is not a benefit. It doesn't have to get in the way a lot, doesn't have to get in the way for long, as long as it gets in the way it's impeding my enjoyment of programs I paid good money for.
Like being in offline mode on Steam? Do this thing:
Make sure your password and stuff are saved to auto-login to Steam.
Switch to offline mode, and quit Steam.
Create a new document in your simple text editor of choice, paste the following two lines into it, save as "steam.cfg" (without the quotes, and not steam.cfg.txt) in the folder where your Steam.exe resides.
BootStrapperInhibitAll=enableNow, every time that Steam starts, you'll be prompted with the option to start in offline mode.
Now Steam is just a launcher for your games. No friends list, no store, no cloud saves, no auto-updates, just games. And of course, this won't work for those games which use Steam as DRM.
But for those games, ask yourself if you'd prefer Steam as DRM, or something else. Rest assured that publishers who insist on including DRM are not going to give it up; "get rid of DRM" is a nice sentiment, but not going to happen. So it's either Steam or something much worse, take your pick.
Thanks for the tip about the offline mode. Though frankly this option should be in the Steam Options menu. It shouldn't require some tech-savvy hack.
As for DRM.
Given that the only PC DRM to interfere with my Gaming is Steam, then I would take the other DRM thanks.
Like, do people enjoy loading screens? Steam is a big loading screen for me. It's a loading screen that my game technically doesn't need.
In addition it also puts all my eggs in one basket. People's accounts for Steam and other online services have gotten hijacked. And while it's true that GOG can likewise get hijacked, that's only the website, not the files downloaded onto your computer. If My account were to get hacked and the password changed I wouldn't be able to play anything. Then in addition in order to ensure that my stuff doesn't get hacked or that I can reclaim it I probably need to provide them with more information than I frankly want to. Xbox likewise keeps bugging me for my phone number, etcetera and it's a pain in the ass there as well.