Mike and Jerry have a stated policy of only allowing ads on their site for games/products that they enjoy and would recommend. I have actually discovered games through their ads that I would have missed. I hope they find a way to replace that "feature" if this Kickstarter succeeds.
I agree that there are substantial problem inherent to DRM. As I note in my original post some days I feel like all DRM is bullshit.
The problems you point out are quite real (see EA server shutdowns) and while they haven't effected Steam yet they could.
The thrust of my argument is that I am a realist. I don't see the ideal world of no DRM coming to pass any time soon. Steam as DRM is certainly not the worst offender currently available so lets direct our focus and energy at the people using truly "Bullshit" DRM first.
Also lets give Steam and Valve credit for what they do get right. Their games and client are available cross platform, are incredibly mod-able, and are sold at reasonable prices with frequent significant sales.
Basically this my whole post was spurred by one word "bullshit" I just don't like to see Steam (a relative good guy) get lumped in with the Ubisofts and EAs of the world.
I realized that some people believe that all DRM is bullshit. Some days I feel that way myself.
However, DRM does exist and when we evaluate DRM the question can be is this DRM worse or better than that DRM. To that end I argue that while Steam is DRM it is not "Bullshit DRM". Steam's DRM differs from many other DRM schemes in several important ways.
1. They are honest about what DRM the games they sell contain and how it works.
2. They provide other benefits that help to balance the "cost" of DRM to the user (the ability to install games on more than one computer, the ability to download my game whenever I want, the fact that they remember all of my CD keys, social features, etc.)
3. They sell games more cheaply. If DRM makes a game just a rental (as some argue) that's fine as long as I am paying rental prices.
4. Offline mode. This is huge as it means that Steams DRM will rarely actually be a burden to the player.
Basically, If DRM protects the seller and doesnít hurt the consumer then letís keep the pitchforks aimed at the worst offenders.
John Walker at RPS just published a followup to his original debunking post. In this one he requests, receives, and then breaks down the studies originally referenced (then later provided) by Dr. Carole Lieberman. Its very thorough, detailed and quite long.