As much as people hate Steam, I'd like to see another service provide the same array of features. Easily organized and searchable store, consistently solid sales on high-profile titles, an awesome array of community features and a chat client for friends. Plus achievements if you're into that sort of thing.
Valve makes the experience easy, friendly and versatile. If publishers are afraid of it becoming a monopoly, they need to step up their game and offer comparable, or even better, services. EA store could become better. I'm also interested in seeing what Microsoft does with GFWL relaunch. If they rework it right, I could see them making a service even better than Valves that allows people to connect with friends not only on the PC, but also on the 360, which could be a big deal.
What you need to consider is that the features you listed are only features if they're desirable to the customers. If they're not, then they cease being features and start being problems.
A lot of people don't want the "easy" solution that is Steam. Specifically they don't want their games tied to a client, no matter how many nifty little features it has. And that's one reason why it's a problem that more and more games require Steam. It drives people to other platforms (not that other platforms are bad - but the PC will need active gamers to keep it alive and competitive as a platform). Personally I would never buy a game that required Steam - I would get it for Xbox360 instead, or if it was PC only, I would not get it at all.