This past Sunday afternoon, I made the decision to purchase The Orange Box on Steam, forgoing the traditional media route. You might recall that I did the same thing with Half-Life 2: Episode 1, swearing to never do it again. I have since changed my mind on the matter. It occurred to me that Valve is a company I truly want to support. Unlike any other game developer, I actually look forward to their game releases. Much like supporting local farmers through a local farmer's market, I decided I would buy this package right from the source, cutting out the middle man.
The only downside to electronic distribution is the fact that you have to actually download the content. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 is approximately 6 GB in size (according to Steam), so it took a while to get, even on our cable connection. Having the physical media to install with would have been much quicker, but I feel that my direct support of Valve outweighs that minor quibble.
I have since downloaded both Episode 2 and Portal, and have played through both once (I was up very late last night). There is so much I want to write about each, that I will separate my thoughts for both into two posts. Stay tuned.