Steam is free to download. If you want to play a game, you need to purchase it. That's how it's always worked. If you want to steal a game, fine, but don't pretend Steam is horrible because you're cheap.
I don't mind steam, I actually like the fact that I don't have to worry about losing my discs cause I can just download my purchased games again from steam. My only gripe with steam is that valve seems to be trying to force you to do everything game/mod related through steam which is really annoying. I don't want to launch steam to launch an app to launch the hl2 model viewer, that's just rediculous. Other than that I'm fine with it...steam haters ftl