What paranoia? Where in my comment does it look like I think everyone is out to get me? We're talking about one company's plot to screw everyone, it's quite the opposite. Reading comprehension? YOU FAIL IT
Really, is that the best you can do this morning? You must have skipped breakfast. What actual harm(s) have you or anyone else experienced from using Steam? Quick, point out all of the complaints of Valve abusing their customer...sadly (for you) despite the millions of Steam users you can't find them. You can find complaints about some of the of patches and software quality they have put out but that isn't an indication of their (in your eyes) plot to "screw everyone". BTW, in your paranoid version of the universe what is Steam's motivation for abusing their customers? I mean, they are already one of the most successful online software distributions companies on the planet. Why would they want to do something to jeopardize that?
That has nothing to do with anything. I am not required to trust them when I buy an installable software product, unlike a Steam-powered game, because I can simply install from the media and use the software. If I cannot do so, I am protected by California state law, and may return the product regardless of the store's policies on software returns; my state protects me from defective merchandise. In fact, by state law, I may return it under any warranty to any outlet which sells the same product. Since the original warranty covers the product's ability to work at all (though nothing else) I can take it back any ol' place.
So you were happy with the rootkit that SOE installed because you could return the software (though the rootkit would remain) but you're unhappy with Steam. Why is it that you believe that the California law wouldn't apply to Steam purchases? The licenses for the games are identical to the boxed versions... This is nothing more than a red herring, you can return games under Steam and you have no more and no fewer rights as a software licensee than you would have if you purchased a boxed copy.
My phone can operate in standalone mode. It's called airplane mode. Nice try though, son.
Next time try harder to be insulting, you might actually pull it of but you seem to lack the imagination. I have to ask, when your phone is in standalone mode do you call yourself? While the device (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc) might have functions that it can be used for when it's not connected to its network it most certainly cannot be used as a phone. The analogy is appropriate here since its another piece of technology that not only requires a network connection it requires one from a specific provider or one that has an agreement with your specific provider, as opposed to a generic IP connection that Steam needs.
Really? Want to point out a rootkit or user level monitoring software that Steam has installed? How about some evidence? Sony and others (hence the question about other software vendors) have done this exactly, but Steam does not.