OP, my intention was not to attack, I was curious about the software you buy. I'll explain why.
I wanted to see what kind of a gamer your are. I too have been playing games for a long time. I remember playing Nethack in 1993 or 1994 when I was in school. What a wonderful/terrible waste of time that game was/is. I've played many of the games on your list and I promise you that had you asked for a refund, sent a long winded letter or left an angry message on their answering machine... it would all have resulted in the same thing, no answer. Many of those games came out broken and the ability to patch and update was never even a discussion. If it didn't work for you.. too bad, thanks for the cash anyways. The ability that we have today to communicate with the game designer is absolutely amazing, and yet very few of then avail themselves to this means of feedback. For better or worse, SD is very open to us and even sometimes responds to our critisizms and needs. I do not know of any other company that is this transperant.
Anyways, back to my original point/s.
Any Console game you buy, well, almost any console game you buy ends up needing an internet connection for an immediate update upon loading/installation. Most new PC/MAC games need it as well.
Let me tell you about my experience with Starddock. My first gameof theirs was GC2. I have mutiple computers are home. All but two or MAC's. One PC is my gaming rig. The other is my lenovo work laptop. For obvious reasons I only use my work computer for work, but the gaming PC was never connected to the net until DoW II came out and forced me to install steam. I was all kinds of angry about that. With my console (PS3 and Xbox360), I do not particularly care because there is nothing on it that matters to me. It's a gaming machine, but with my one PC and irrational fear of viruses and all the good stuff, so I kept refusing. So, what's the point of that... I'll tell you right now. Cari elf, and two other admin helped me for months when I was downloading various patches/updates to galciv 2 (using my MAC via e-mails or their website). I would then check it for viruses and such and transfer it tot he pc with a flash drive or a external HD for installation. I still have the friendly correspondence in my g-mail account. It kept getting harder and more time consuming, and at some point I got a sincere apology letter, and they told me that all updates would be handled by Impulse Reactor in the very near future. I got really mad and stopped playing GC2 and decided against doing business with them. Then DoW II came out, and I tried to communicate with them, and only got a single e-mail from the tech people telling me what essentially meant.. TOO BAD.
SO yea, I know exactly what you mean. All the new games pretty much require either invasive DRM or an online connection for a passive connect. Sure, I could pirate cracked version of the games. But I don't. Sure, I can not play any new PC games, which is what I did. Then E:Wom and Civ 5 were coming out at the same time. My gaming PC would not be able to run Civ 5 ( I later tested it on the demo) well, and in later stages it would be a complete dog. So I decided to give Elemental a chance (based on their requirements). Because I have an older PC, I think I did okay. I didn't crash nearly as much as some people do, and I enjoy the game for what it is. I didn't follow the Beta, and only really started looking into it a week before relase. Yea, I too saw the epic Dragon battle scene and was highly disappointed by it's absence. Though knowing SD the way I do, I knew they would in a few short months have the game in the shape it needs to be in. Two weeks ago I found a Complete version of GC2 for cheap. Bought it, updated from IR and bam.. it an amazing game, though I am still baffled by the economy. I am now looking to pick up SoaSE and SotS from Impulse.
In Short, am I a fanboy? not in the deragatory sense of the word. But I am a fan. Do I believe in SD? yes, I do. Have I been burned by other game studios? YES. Burned so much that I refuse to buy console games and use gamefly (console games) to test them out before I buy anything. By the way, those games run @ $60 a pop and very rarely get anything redone ala E:WoM, they only get tiny patches to keep major game crashes from happening. After 2-3 patches int he life of the game, if that, you are done. My PC can't run anything new anymore, and I refuse to spend $650-$2k sprucing it up.
To the OP and anyone else who read this. Thanks for reading this and spending your time on this rant-like post.