Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition on the main list doesn't use steamworks but apparantly does need a stardock account: http://steamdrm.flibitijibibo.com/index.php?page=DRM_Lists/The_Big_DRM_List
That's interesting. It let me run the game without activating a Stardock account, unlike other games such as Sins of a Solar Empire, which seemed to run without Steam but required a Stardock account before hand. Yeah, I just double checked, GC2 runs for me without creating an account for some reason, but other Stardock games do not.
There seems to be some confusion of terms here. CEG is a very
specific copy protection on very few Steam games that generates a custom
executable (hence the name) that is encrypted and cryptographically signed with a key specific to your computer. It's applied to for example Portal 2, Deus Ex HR and some other modern games. (Telltale sign is that you get a "Preparing install" popup the first time you run the game)
What you are talking about here is the Steam Wrapper, that checks if Steam is running and the user owns a copy of the game at startup. While still DRM, it's a different one than CEG, and I think being specific what we're talking about here is important.
Are you entirely sure this description is accurate? The reason I ask is that, I have over 400 Steam games, and literally every single one says "Preparing install" the first time it runs. Literally all of them. Also, Portal 2, when taken out of the Steam folder and executed does not give the "Preparing install" message, and actually loads the game -- it does however crash at one of the loading screens.