Meh. I didn't really bother trying to. I don't remember you were given the option during the setup program, though.
One thing I can argue: You can remove Steam from your system startup. I did that immediately and it never popped up without direct action on my part. You can also turn game updates off so you don't have to automatically download patches when they come out.
Laziness on my part, I suppose.
Yeah, it's understandable they want to make money. What I didn't like about it is that their intention was to remove the publisher from the equation, without decreasing the product price, thus making a lot more money at the expense of the user. That's pretty greedier than wanting to sell the most games, IMO.
Do you think Carmack doesn't want to make assloads of money? Everyone that makes a game wants to make a critically acclaimed blockbuster. For me I view HL2 as a fantastic game, so I don't hold it against Valve or Newell for wanting to make money.
Perhaps. To be honest I really don't know but I think at first Steam was only a means through which Valve products would be distributed. I'm not sure all the authentication garbage for standard retail products was part of the original idea. Again, that's just pure speculation, I don't know for a fact.
Wasn't the hacking incident in late August/early september? And wasn't the game supposed to be released in September? I don't profess to being an expert on the history of Valve, but I always thought Steam was something that was out even before HL2 was supposed to be out and used for CS and stuff like that. I looked back at old news sources..Steam was out way before the hacking incident, unless I totally misread the news articles.