Let us ignore, for a moment, your use of characterizations, straw-man arguments, and ad-hominem attacks, and address whatever content may be left in your self-described "rant":
Valve admitted they screwed up and underestimated the demand and didn't have enough servers up. They also said they're going to try to fix this asap. What more do you want?
I want the option not to use Steam at all. I am the customer. Give me what I want.
Of course there are still issues that I'd like addressed like any other discerning gamer - eg. additional gui feedback, better handling of mods, better responsiveness to timeouts, and local casting support ..... but this shrill 'wet-panties' whinging is just nauseating.
More nauseating than childish ad hominem? Or about the same?
They are a company like any other trying to make money
Why is it that whenever a company is criticized for doing something dirt-stupid, underhanded, or both, some joker always says "They're just trying to make money!", as if this goal were somehow more noble than the quest for a cancer cure. I know they're trying to make money. I take exception to the manner in which they go about it.
and set up a new method of software distribution, authentication and cheating control that hopefully ends up benefiting everyone
Bravo for trying. Maybe they'll eventually succeed. But if it were really good for me as well as for them, wouldn't it be sufficient to make it optional?
As for people saying that they're going to pirate it because of this - grow up! Valve has an EULA with you.
Indeed. Which they are about to violate.
They don't owe you the use of their 5 year free WON service
And there is where you are wrong. They most certainly do. They sold me a product. They owe me that it will perform as advertised for as long as I care to use it. If they cannot deliver, then whose fault is that?
Certainly not mine.
Aditionally, WON is most certainly NOT free. I paid for it when I paid for CounterStrike. Is it too expensive to keep running those authentication servers? Too bad. Shoulda charged me more. Not my fault if their planning was poor.
they don't owe you the specific old CS launching GUI
Yes, they do. That was what they sold, and that was what I bought. Now if they wish to implement an alternative that I like, I am unlikely to complain or make an issue of it. But that is up to me, not them.
and they certainly don't owe you an alternative to steam if you're too stupid to get it to work.
Well, I haven't noticed myself drooling lately. (Nor foaming, for that matter, which is more than can be said for some.) In fact, whether I can get it to work or not is not the issue. I don't want to get it to work. I don't want it.
Is that sufficently clear?
*OMG they owe me a CD teh phuck3rs!* PLEASE.
Yes in-deedy. I am childish enough to believe that if I pay for something, I should get what I paid for. Why am I so inconsiderate of the rights of corporations to change what they sold me after I bought it? I must have been raised improperly.
Besides HL2 retail will be offline non-steam version until you choose to activate it.
That statement had not escaped my attention. However, it is not relevent to what is being done to HL multiplayer, and to CounterStrike.
Really, people, this whole thing reminds of nothing more than that Monty Python sketch:
Cut to a smart dinner party. There are two couples in evening dress at the table. Candles burning on the polished wood, a fire burning in the grate. Muted music and sophisticated lighting.)
Hostess (R. Davies): We had the most marvellous holiday. It was absolutely fantastic.
Host (M. Palin): Absolutely wonderful.
Hostess: Michael, you tell them about it.
Host: No, darling, you tell them.
Hostess: You do it so much better.
(The doorbell rings.)
Host: Excuse me a moment.
(The host goes and answers the door of the flat, which opens straight into the dining room. Standing at the door is a large grubby man carrying a tin bath on his shoulder. There are flies buzzing around him. He walks straight in.)
Man (J. Cleese): Dung, sir.
Man: We've got your dung.
Host: What dung?
Man: Your dung. Three hundredweight of heavy droppings. Where do you want it? ('he looks round for a likely place)
Host: I didn't order any dung.
Man: Yes you did, sir. You ordered it through the Book of the Month Club.
Host: Book of the Month Club?
Man: That's right, sir. You get 'Gone with the Wind', 'Les Miserables' by Victor Hugo, 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and with every third book you get dung.
Host: I didn't know that when I signed the form.
Man: Well, no, no. It wasn't on the form - they found it wasn't good for business. Anyway, we've got three hundredweight of dung in the van. Where do you want it?
Host: Well, I don't think we do. We've no garden.
Man: Well, it'll all fit in here - it's top-class excrement.
Host: You can't put it in here, we've having a dinner party!
Man: 'Salright. I'll put it on the telly.
(He brings it into the dining room. The guests ignore him.)
Host: Darling... there's a man here with our Book of the Month Club dung.
Hostess: We've no room, dear.
Man: Well, how many rooms have you got, then?
Host: Well, there's only this room, the bedroom, a spare room.
Man: Oh well, I'll tell you what, move everything into the main bedroom, then you can use the spare room as a dung room.
(The doorbell goes and there standing at the door which hasn't been closed is a gas board official with a dead Indian over his shoulders.)
Gas Man (G. Chapman): Dead Indian.
Gas Man: Have you recendy bought a new cooker, sir?
Gas Man: Ah well, this is your free dead Indian, as advertised...
Host: I didn't see that in the adverts...
Gas Man: No, it's in the very small print, you see, sir, so as not to affect the sales.