You should have checked "Remember my credentials offline, or wait a few hours untill the problem is fixed. Lan is still working. Online Multiplayer won't. Non-Valve games are unlimitedly downloadable but usualy do not even require Steam. Steam is just the download client basicaly.What if they go offline?
If anyone, Valve, next to id software maybe, has a record of always patching even 10 year old stuff. Usualy you'll eventually may even get some games for free (like Blue Shift). When Steam/Valve goes bankrupt/down, standalone patches (aka legal craks) will be supplied. You should have made a backup copy of your game after (unlimited time are granted for this, same as downloads; ) activation. There is a built-in, not-hidden GUI wizzard for this in Steam. These cracks will decrypt the encryption and the game is now free to be copied to whatever media you like, as many times as you like, without any copyright. So when Steam closes down, you'll end up having better softwareWhat if the game simply stops being "supported" by the DRM? Will they then release that control over to you? Etc.
Pay money to Valve; they will makje Linux so much more popular and mainstream accepted that eventually more FLOSS will be used (aka non-Microsoft) and so more bug reports, more possible contributors to FLOSS, more pressure on manufacturors to make their tech work with Linux (or die)...Of course, any of you are free to pay for even a single ride on the software roller coaster, that's fine, and I myself do so sometimes, but I'd prefer to have the opportunity to invest in open source programs instead especially when I know my monetary support won't be misused.
Railworks 2010 can't be played without being logged in into steam.
But that's up to the game 'labels'. If some company wants their game to ship like that, so be it; crappy stuff.
However... And here comes the uber awesome part:
If you buy a non-steam game in a retail store, which is also available on Steam, then you can just also enter the cd key in Steam, have it added to you Steam account also and when Steam goes down you had all the pros of Steam and also the non-Steam integration version on your disc.
No problem, right?
You never have to pay again when you use the feature to add the serial. If that does not work then somebody else used that serial.
Also with a fast internet connection it is really nice that you don't need backups of your games when you install a new pc. They are just downloaded again - for slow connections you should use the backup feature however...
I guess this is a question of trust. If they decide you are not a "good" customer they can block all your games and then all this stuff is totally useless. In fact I would not even entrust Valve with guarding one single dime of me. What are you going to do if they incorrectly kill all the games you bought with your hard earned cash? Do you really want "them" to decide "when" you are allowed to play and especially "if" you are allowed to play? That's like having to ask a government agent every time you want to use your car for permission as otherwise you can not drive the car.
And yes, the problem with the serial does exist and is not because the serial is in use. It happened with games which had steam and non-steam versions. If you bought the shelf version you still had to pay again for the steam version. That's what I call ripping people off.
Very unlikely that this happened with valve games - maybe with others.