Your first post clearly has the tone of someone being disappointed with a final release they paid for rather than a beta and this stems from the fact that you have wrongly assumed it is built for general consumption
No, I was not disappointed. Nor do I assume that it is built for general consumption, though it kinda is, being that it's the product that Microsoft wants the general public to download to get a taste of Windows 8. I am concerned, especially with game compatibility (because I've not had any issues with any non-game, so generally productivity and media apps are probably going to have no issues, but they aren't habitually packed with DRM, either), because generally (and Win 8 is no exception) when they are working on a new version of Windows, what you're getting, especially in early betas, is the same version of Windows you've been running with some improvements. The changes throughout the beta stages are incremental, so I've found that there are actually less bugs sometimes in the early betas as opposed to the later ones, since there are less changes to the OS it's being built off of. When we get to this point, with the RC around the corner, you start to get the feeling that maybe something has been overlooked and they might not get around to fixing it, and I'm actually ok with that, too, because these issues are mostly due to all the crap game developers add in to otherwise fantastic games in order to stop pirates from playing them. I don't want to get too much into the DRM vs piracy debate, but it's clear which side of the fence I'm on, I think. So, if a game doesn't work, I'm more often than not going to blame the game developer and chances are it's an older game that isn't running correctly and I won't expect them to ever update it, which will in turn upset me and cause me to resort to cracking said game if necessary. After all, I didn't buy my games so I could just play them a few times and then shelve them for eternity because I can't run them anymore. I'm sure at some point there will come a major re-write of Windows that no longer supports legacy apps, and then I will have to build a PC that runs the last version of Windows that works solely for legacy gaming, but that day is not here yet.
What was really bugging me was first, that it was a GFWL issue, and nobody was reporting problems. That means it was a Microsoft issue, and you'd think they'd test their own software. That doesn't mean I expect it to work. It does mean that they might take 5 seconds and post in their forums that it's a known issue and that they are (or are not) working on it. But hey, they're busy guys, and apparently really concerned about smoking Windows Phones right now, so that's cool, I get it. Secondly, I still don't think I'm the only one who has run into this problem. With both the Dev Preview and the Consumer Preview I have installed the OS fresh and Steam is the next thing I install after I'm done making sure my drivers and directx are up to date, get any Windows Updates and get Office installed. So I'm not using some upgraded install that is even more prone to bugs, and the installs are practically fresh. It's not like I have only checked Neowin, either. I have scoured the net for any information on this issue and it's not so much troubling that nobody had any solutions as it was that nobody was asking for solutions. I'm getting the impression from Windows 8's web presence that everybody is so concerned with freaking out about "metro" and the new start screen that they're not actually testing anything and just reverting to Windows 7 or not installing it at all, without even trying it, which very well may be the case.
So maybe that's the impression I gave with my OP, but hopefully this will clarify further my motivation for having written it.