Let me just say that this is surely one of the best games to come out in the last few years, and the fine-tuning that the developers have done only makes it better. Stardock and Ironclad have a lot to be proud of. In my opinion, this is up there with the almost-holy Total War series in pure playability and fun.
But I don't understand why people are complaining about Impulse. What's wrong with it? It downloads Stardock's and other games for you, for a fair price, and monitors and installs updates for these games. What's the problem? Obviously, if it's not performing properly, something needs to be done, but there are also complaints about its very existence - people are refusing to install it out of some kind of stubbornness. I don't understand it at all. The only snag with buying games online is the fact that you can't resell them, but reselling them is a bit dodgy anyway.
Are these people complaining about Impulse citing some kind of intrusion as their objection? Well guess what: every PC online has forfeited a certain amount of freedom by way of simply being online and interfacing with a world community. Plus, you're not free to not pay taxes, to go out and (for example) kill, injure or rob someone, or to otherwise menace society. So you're not, and never will be, totally free anyway - get over it. The developers have the right to protect their intellectual property and hard work.
So stop wittering: Stardock (along with, in my opinion, CDProjekt in Poland of The Witcher) are developers who are massively involved with, and receptive to, the community. So there are a few bugs here and there? Try being a computer programmer - you'll find that there are bugs everywhere in all software: if you can find a programmer who can 100% code without bugs, let me know, for I'll be wanting to employ him/her!! At least Stardock respond qwuickly and efficiently to any issues.
Anyway, to conculde - Stardock and Ironclad: you've got one to be proud of here, and dont let anyone tell you otherwise.