I've almost _always_ been able to resell my games. Fallout 3 was late 2008, thats the last big bethesda game i can recall without drm. Aside from the past 5 years of drm bs, I'd say being able to resell is the norm. Though I guess if you're younger you may think it's always been this sucky.
Of course on consoles you are able to resell most games you buy, but that is only because they use a different approach to preventing piracy. In the case of consoles the use digital signature thingy in the console that prevents it running pirated disks without someone modding the console. They can do this by having code in the game that checks the disk in someway and if you remove that code the signature no longer matches to the console will not run the game.
Like it or not the companies who now produce games simply don't trust us not top pirate their product. They know they can't make it completely impossible, but they can make it difficult and that puts a large percentage of people off so they settle for that.
Whether this is right or wrong morally is largely irrelevant, it is what the publishers want to do.
If Steam is prevented from doing this in Germany (I very much doubt that will happen, since they tell you up front when you guy the game that you can't so it is probably a legal contract) then they will just find some other way of achieving a similar aim. Maybe they will go down the signed code route on their new Steam box instead.
Steam do not produce most of the games they sell in house, they just sell them. The game publishers were all talking about abandoning the PC a few years back due to piracy, Steam has used it's DRM to bring them back. If Steam (and Origin) are suddenly made illegal then when the next generation of consoles come out the game publishers will only release their product on them instead. Unless the threat of piracy completely disappears somehow some form of DRM will always exist now.