Why do some people hate SecuROM with a vengeance despite being such a mild copy protection scheme but then turn around and praise Steam and other DRM schemes which affect the games much more (unable to copy/resell/regift, phone home for permission to install, etc)?
Because SecuROM is much more invasive than you describe, because it stay on infecting your computer after you uninstall the program that it is attached to, after you "uninstall" SecuROM" it leaves portions of itself the reinstall itself behind your back, It locks is registry keys so that even as administrator you cant remove them. It will reject valid discs as being illegitamate copies. It will stop the games from running on vista and newer OS's if the network is experiencing congestion. It will refuse to start games if you have various common programming tools installed on your system. And will refuse to run with certain brands of optical drive.
While steam lets me run game s on or offline, backs up my saves and synces them between my computers, lets me have multiple copies installed at once, You can uninstall it without issue. It does not care if I have a hex editor merely installed on my system.
SecuROM views you as a hostile party and treats your computer like it is their property not yours.
Steam veiws you as a customers and tries to help you where it can in hopes of you spending more money with them.
I have had issues with SecuROM and its ilk interfering with legitament usage
I have never noticed effects of DRM on Steam except where I have actually benefited from it "saves synced, etc,"