Valve can do with Steam what they want, include spyware or make it even more unefficient (is that possible?) and people will still love them and buy their crap. This has been discussed alot of times in other forums and they all came to the same conclusion. You, my friend, are the perfect example of those mentioned Valve-Zombies, actually youre worse since you try to defend that crap.
Easy conclusion? In what dimension?
How long did it take this team of PC experts and philosophers to reach the conclusion that Valve can put spyware and make Steam "more unefficient"? Of course they can!! Jesus! Sometimes, I wonder if this post aren't generated from random Google queries or just jokes. I mean, are people that seriously concerned that Valve will put Spyware on their software?? Why stop at Valve??? Why not Adobe with their Adobe Online, Macromedia with Extension Exchange or Maxis with Object Exchange???
How is it that everyone is so worried about Steam but not every other application and pirated piece of software in their computers?! Oh wait... hackers are cool and they'd never try to put a trojan or anything on their hacked games.
At any rate...
Harbinger, Steam DOES NOT need the internet to allow you to play Single Player or LAN games. Let me repeat this because I think you missed it on my first post. It DOES NOT require you to connect AT ALL into the internet to play a single player or LAN game. You DO NOT need a special license, either. You turn it on and if it doesn't detect an internet connection it'll ask you if you want to use Steam in offline mode. That mode will allow you to play Single Player and LAN games.
Now, that the issue of connectivity is hopefully been cleared up, let's move onto how many FPS Steam takes away from your sacred gaming experience.
*I* am a tweak player. I have not found ANY loss of frames while I play with Steam on. NONE. If there's any loss of frames, then it must less than one because I have the same FPS whether I play on Steam or not. If, however you do suffer frame loss due to Steam, then you're not "tweak crazy." If you simply don't have the money to upgrade your machine, then that's your bad.
If you're losing frames from using Steam, then you won't be able to play HL2. Either 1) Your computer doesn't meet the hardware requirements 2) You have some software problem (drivers, OS, viruses, spyware, etc) 3) Faulty hardware 4) A faulty user 5) A combination of the former 4 possibilities.
You can say you've run antivirus and downloaded this and that, but if your computer lags because of Steam and you have something equivalent to an AthlonXP2400+ with 640MB od DDR with a GFX 5950 Ultra or better, then there's a problem because I run CS:S without any hitch and at the same damn frame rate as regular old CS.
If it's that easy to find out what a program does and doesn't do, on the internet, then look up Steam.
Again, I go back to my pissed off first paragraph. Why Steam? Why are people so obsessed about having to see every where, when, why, how of Steam and not of every other program?
Just answer me that. Why Steam? What is it about Steam that REALLY scares you? What?!