I hope steam doesn't catch on.
Imagine all the publishers/software houses doing it.
How many demons would be running on your machine all the time?
Sucking bandwidth & CPU time checking for patches and updates.
Or do you try and control it so, "okay lets play HL2, fire up steam run HL2, okay bored now,quit HL2, closed down steam, fire up activisions version of steam to load game ...".
"Okay now I want to play GameX online, whose's the publisher? whats the name of their Steam product?"
All those programs, with internet access and access to your harddisks and registry, sounds like a hackers dream to me.
I don't trust Valve, they can't even keep their own machines safe from hackers. Would you trust EA or Activision to produce a secure steam type program? Microsoft can't even produce a secure webbrowser.
Then there's the issue of Spyware, tell me they won't be able to send a complete list of fav websites and installed programs back to their marketing guys.
Then what about other OS's? I'm happy to play ET, Q3, RtCW, UT2003/4 and now Doom3 on Linux. All of those games are available on Mac OS X too.
I'm happy to get game updates & patches from official websites when I choose or from Mag cover disks(DVD because they have more on them).
As for the games themselves, DVD is the only sensible alternative to 3/4/5/6 CD's