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I've had steam since Half Life 1/2 and I have never had problems with it.
The last few games I have bought, including FM2011/2012, have required you to have a steam account even though I bought the CD.
The latest game I have bought is Elder Scrolls V: Sykrim and it required a steam account.
The most annoying game I have bought with regards to internet connection is Settlers 7, which freezes if it cannot connect to their servers (not steam).
In Oz it can be a problem buying games through steam as we have upload/download limits.
I'm happy their 'offline' feature works, as it's nice to be able to play the game whilst travelling.
Only recently I was stuck in Dubai airport for 8 hours due to flight problems and with their recharging station to recharge the laptop battery, was able to load up and play FM2012 without an internet connection, passed a bit of time.
As for auto updates, I always apply the patches for games when they are availble so no big deal for me letting steam do it.
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