I tend to like the idea of getting rid of the publisher middleman, I've heard of so many games being slashed and released early because of publisher demands. I'd prefer to leave the process in the hands of the artists making the game.
As for Steam, I really don't appreciate having to have an Internet connection, with how often I move, its a major inconvenience just to play a game. And the "offline mode" is all good and nice, expect it (randomly) decides to drop the authentication, requiring me to once again haul my computer over to a friend with Internet. Its ridiculous.
Another thing too, is that Valve has recieved a lot of negative feedback from users regarding steam. It seems like valve just ignores them. "Tough crap, if you want to play our (great) games, you'lle live with it". Its a pity that a government agency has to get involved to make Valve, a company so rooted in its strong community ties, listen to its community.