As internet connection's improve and LAN hardware improves and servers etc... Steam will become more useful and powerful. As for right now... It can be a pain but it can also be very useful. Let's say you weigh 3,000 lbs and your stuck in your chair next to your computer. You can't get up to go to gamestop, ebx or best buy etc.... right? You can't even go to your front door to get a UPS or FedEx package. That is where the Power of Steam servers come into play.
Nah, but seriously.. CSS and DOD are great games. It also allows you to download all the new updates and demos such Lost Coast with HDR (High Dynamic Range) allowing you to see what valve is up to... and then test it! Steam will improve just like everything else will (except the united states government).
Simply... Steam is an online gaming console/platform.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ / DFI Lanparty UT NF4 SLI-DR Expert NVIDIA Socket 939 / FX GeForce 7800 GT 256MB GDDR3 / 2x1GB of G.Skill PC4000 DDR500 22.214.171.124 F1-4000USU2 / 19" Kingston LCD / 550 W ULTRA X-2 PSU / JBL 5.1 / PS CS2.0 / 120 G 7200RPM I also have an Olympus Evolt E-500 digital camera and 9" WS portable DVD player.