Oh for crying out loud... Steam is not that bad. It's a free service. Always has been, always will be. Runs great sales all the time that beat any other platform and even retailers prices out there. Normal purchases are overpriced though. The DRM is minimal comparing appearances to what it actually does. And when compared to other forms of DRM is unobtrusive to the customer. Ubisoft anyone? As said many times before, it can be used completely offline.
I am usually staunchly against DRM (I even chose to do full report and presentation on DRM in university), but Steam is far from the worst thing out there. It's nothing compared to the likes of Ubisoft's always-online DRM, EA's periodic reactivations, other games login in-game to play like company of heroes and other titles, Bioshock's download data during installation just to install and even the dreaded 3 max install limit of some games. There are far, far worse options out there. I was even staunchly against steam at one point until I did my research and played around with it. It is "DRM", but not really either when compared to other forms of DRM.
Look, DRM is a fact of life in PC gaming. Sometimes you get lucky and get to avoid DRM altogether. But mostly you are going to get DRM in one form or another. And considering the myriad of horrible, horrible DRM out there, Ironclad and Stardock could have done far worse than Steam. I've come to like steam. No disk, just start the app and go. I even find it a bit hypocritical to claim Steam DRM and then promote the points of Impulse. I hate to break it to you, but Impulse is also DRM. While once you install you don't have to have Impulse running to play the game, it's still DRM (if you bought the digital download version) because you had to activate it online through impulse. Having steam running is hardly terrifying and not resource intensive. I agree, I hate DRM, but you need to pick your battles. Steam is not bad enough to justify this kind of response from some people. Especially when considering the alternatives. I'm right here with you. I haven't bought a single Ubisoft game since they put their crap always-on DRM on their games and will not ever buy a game from them until it is removed. So yes, I agree that taking a stand is a good thing. But weigh the pros and cons and choose the right battles.
As for Stardock and Ironclad, I have to give you props and my thanks. As I mentioned before, you could have done far worse. And out of all the options, I think you made the right choice. I'll happily play this game on Steam and I'm looking forward to it. And at the very least, thank you so much for not choosing Origin. That is one digital distribution platform I won't go anywhere near.