Publishers are evil. They get paid way too much for their contribution to the gaming industry. Steam is an attempt for the developers to empower themselves. Good for them. Now i don't have to get on my bike and cycle to a store that only gets my fav game weeks after it is released in the US of A. Also my games are kept up to date automatically and I dont have to search for fast ftp sites or subscribe to Fileplanet.
I have had almost no problems with steam and have been using it since it started.