The DVD version is the Collectors Edition sold in North America. Even still, who is to say BicycleRepairMan lives in NA?
The NA and the European versions are different. Again, to my knowledge, all versions sold in Europe were on DVD only. And BRM certainly appeared to be quoting from a European box given the "," where NA uses ".".
They may have looked at it, but ultimately it is not the developers responsibilty to make sure the packaging and the EULA are correct.
I agree about the box, but not about the EULA. That is pretty much entirely the developer's responsibility.
The Steam EULA that you have to agree to before installing Steam and HL2
Yes, but is it available in German? I didn't see a link anywhere for it in German, but that's not to say it's not there.
Just venturing a guess here, but I dont think retail stores can prevent you from returning software if you state you do not agree to the legal agreement. At the very least you could return the game to Vivendi themselves. They cannot legally turn you away if you do not agree to their own EULA.
In the US, at least, this is true. The stores are not required to allow you to return the software, but the manufacturer (in this case, Vivendi) is. There have been issues with this before though -- it's often difficult to find information on where to return it, or the return address is no longer valid, etc., but that's not an issue being raised here anyway.
It might be a bit more interesting if you try to buy it via Steam and then decline the EULA after paying for it. You'd then have to "return" it to Valve, but there's nothing physical to return... wonder if they've even thought this one out (the smart thing would be to put all the EULAs up before the credit card is charged, but I bet they didn't do that -- it certainly wouldn't be the easy thing).