Perhaps I am the only one who can remember a time when you had to buy all of your games from local stores.
You countered your own argument. The key in the sentence is the 's' in stores. You had a choice who to buy it from, and there was more of chance of seeing a sale or promo of some sort as the stores try to entice people to buy from them over their competition. Steamworks eliminates all the competition on the digital download front. This is not good for the consumer, and supporting Steamworks now will just raise game prices/decrease value in the future. You know all those spiffy 'deals of the week' Steam has? They only starting doing that because their competitors started making headway against them. Regardless of what you think of Steam, Steam getting exclusive rights to sell a game digitally is not good for anyone but Valve.
Great laughs from the article: Steamworks' features included in all PC versions, such as auto-updating, Steam Achievements, downloadable content, ability to access from any computer*, multiplayer matchmatching and more.
The last I checked, most of that is a STANDARD FEATURE in any AAA title game. And forcing me to download a patch isn't actually a good thing. Anyone who bought Dragon Age on the PC can tell you that the 1.03 patch broke more things than it fixed. Downloadable content used to be called expansion packs, and actually gave you more than an hour or two of extended gameplay. I mean, holy shit, I gain the ability to buy an expansion pack because I'm using Steam? What value!