"there is no allowance made for playing offline. If you don't have an internet connection then you can't play your game, even if it's a single player game"
This is incorrect (and shows just how much research you made before writing this "article"). There will actually be a version of HL2 without any on-line components. This has been mentioned in numerous interviews with the developers / producers. The full version of HL2 (with on-line multiplayer support) can also be bought on CD.
Existing games (bought on CD) such as HL, OpFor, etc., can still be installed and played from the CD / hard disk.
"what happens when the network itself becomes overloaded or worse, goes down? This is exactly what happened the evening Steam was released."
If the network gets overloaded, then you may have to wait a bit for your daily fix of Counter-Strike, and possibly even spend a day without playing it, and get a life.
Anyway, the same thing happens when WON servers are down or when a new version is released, so Steam doesn't really change anything.
"For the past 18 hours the game has been unplayable"
Ahh... 18 hours without CS... the pain, the pain!
"despite the fact that every person on Steam has a legally licensed copy of Half-Life or Counterstrike which they paid good money for."
You can still play HL and you can still play CS (just start the game normally, instead of through Steam). And most people running Steam do not have "a legally licensed copy of Half-Life or Counter-Strike which they paid good money for". One of the main "selling points" of Steam is precisely the fact that you can play HL (and CS, and TFC, and OpFor, and a number of other games) without having to pay anything.
"The second major evil is version control. Steam pushes new versions whether you want them or not. Sure, you can decline to update, but you won't be playing anytime soon."
Nor will you be playing any mod if the server upgrades and you don't. Steam simply makes the updates automatic, it doesn't necessarily increase their frequency.
"During the CS 1.6 beta, Valve implemented bots, which are computer controlled players that could play Counter-Strike instead of a human."
Unfortunately, some humans did not take the hint, and keep playing it.
"The latest release version has stripped bots."
The latest release version is 1.5, and it doesn't have any built-in bots. Version 1.6 was a beta version, distributed for free, that didn't even require a valid HL CD key.
Besides, you can still run bots in CS; Valve have simply decided not to have them included in the default install.
"Normally, you just don't update and keep playing like you always did."
If the server updates and you don't, you can't play. Same as it ever was.
"Now, you don't have a choice. Your entire gameplay experience is in the hands of some programmer."
Oh, no! Call James Hound! What exactly is new about that? And if there's one developer in whose hands I'm happy to leave my gameplay experience, that's Valve. HL is the best software investment I've ever made.
"Whether you like an old feature or weapon is no longer your concern. Welcome to the DRM age."
That has nothing to do with DRM. I liked Natural Selection 1.x a lot more than I like 2.x. It doesn't have DRM, it doesn't run on Steam, it doesn't even have automatic updates. But all the servers where I can play have upgraded to 2.x. So how does the absence of DRM in NS help me...?
"As you can see, the DRM world isn't as rosy as the pro-DRM lobby make it out to be."
And who are the "pro-DRM lobby" and how exactly do they influence the biosphere...? Do you even understand what DRM is? Hint: it has nothing to do with automatic updates or with developers introducing changes in beta software.
It's amazing what 18 hours without a Counter-Strike fix will do to some addic^H^H^H gamers.