You can't download patches without the use of steam.
And you can't easily download full-length movies or TV episodes without Kazaa or Bittorrent, but nobody bitches about that.Fun Facts:
In the past, you had to connect to the internet to download a patch anyway. Steam requires you to be connected to the internet to download a patch, but Steam will update the game automatically if you want. Alternately, you can instruct Steam to update particular games only when you play them. Oh no!
Whereas online games had to be authenticated through WON before, now they have to be authenticated through Steam, which provides uniform anti-cheat, anti-hack protection for every game on every server, all the time. Oh no!
Due to OS architecture as much as engine architecture, Steam is subject to DDOS attacks. Due to OS architecture as much as engine architecture, WON was subject to DDOS attacks. Oh no!
56k modem users (representing a whopping 4% of Steam's user base) have difficulties and lag issues when downloading updates and connecting to multiplayer games under Steam. 56k modem users have had increasing difficulties proportional to the exponential growth in size and complexity of online content (and subsequent required bandwidth) and this will only continue as the internet develops. Oh no!