Frankly this shows that the whole DRM-hating segment of the gaming community is just a very vocal, but very small, minority, and that developers can safely ignore them without suffering much of a loss.
And it shows that bowing to the demands of people on your forum is a very bad idea, since they're not t all representative of the silent majority.
If you want to follow the same kind of silly logic then Diablo III is a very huge majority of gamers doesn't care about games using always online DRM and that it's a very bad idea for devs to not use said always online DRM on all their games as the silent majority doesn't mind them.
Crusader Kings 2 was steam only at first too, and then they made steam free version on GamersGate.
Also, Paradox games on steam are DRM Free anyway - you can run them without steam launched.
They said there were looking to use achievements and other Steam "features" for EU4 so nothing tells if that will also be true for this one.