I used to bitch at people buying digital only assets (ITunes, I'm looking at you) as a no win situation.
Steam is all the opposite of that. They get insane rebates you'll never see in stores. They let you play offline, redownload countless times, they have automated patching of games which is worth gold, gone are the days of waiting on gamespy servers and going through hoops becasue the publishers will make you go to shady ad infested download sites with their "wait half an hour or pay for a gold memebership" crap.
They even have plus values such as notification of new video cards drivers and it can even patch it for you (opt-in)
The only thing I hate is that I can't be logged in from several computer at once on the same account, I could play a game on my pc while my gf plays one on my laptop...I guess shared accounts would be a rampant problem.
I used to hate the very idea of it...but getting top notch games for under 20$ helped me cope.