There's defenitly something wrong with those requirements.
Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP
500 MB HD space
256 MB RAM
1.0 Ghz processor
1GB HD space (strongly recommended)
Broadband Internet connection (128kb/s or higher strongly recommended)
It's a "patching/auto-updating/download/server browser" software. Please tell me why it needs a 1.0Ghz system with 256MB of RAM. We all know all this HD space is needed since Steam download stuff while your not looking and that internet connection because your fucked if you're on 56k. But why would it need a 1.0Ghz CPU with so much RAM. Since the only thing you were able to use it for in the beta was playing a 5 years old game.
The piracy argument doesn't even exist. For SP, there's nothing a firewall can't stop and for MP, there's been valid CD-Key system for years.
I have no problem with it if it wouldn't be required. An additionnal software for those who wants it. But I want to keep the ability to use an external server browser, download my patches on my own, run a server or play on one with the version of the game I decide to, etc.