Why do people think there is only Steam? I hate how Steam works.
I much prefer how Impulse used to work (or stardock central before that) with buy, download, unlock - go. Most other digitial distributors work the same way, like direct2drive or amazon's digital. No clue if GS is doing the same now. Other outlets do sales and deals too.
I was kind of bummed when Stardock got rid of Impulse. That was my prefered way to get games. It took care of the patching stuff for you too which is convenient but it didn't completely hook into and affect your gaming. You ran it when you wanted to run it.
Basically I just want a good digital distributor. I don't give a flying monkey poo about achievement or any social hooks into games as Steam does them. I actually don't want my games tied in to such things, I want them to stand alone from the distributor.
Steam is like MS...controlling so much of the market that you get to a "oh well, may as well just use/buy it on steam and put up with it's BS" state.
Given a choice, I'll buy games directly from the developer. Beyond that, I usually just go with whatever digital source is the least expensive, and a great deal of the time, that does end up being Steam. That or the game is steamworks bound and you're stuck with Steam no matter what - not much point in buying a game from elsewhere if you're just going to get a steam key and have to use steam anyways.
In regards to the OP...I can think of reasons to dislike Steam but I can't see how this arbitration thing is even remotely relevant. I'm not sure I could name a single legal issue with a game that I care about. Maybe some parents spazzing out over violence or some such BS. The idea of suing over a game is kind of laughable.