origin is junk. it idles my cpu randomly. sometimes doesn't even open. in the game layout/layover is not very responsive, the browser is junk. the ui is ugly. the only good thing about origin is the download speeds (helps that the servers are in the same city as me...). only reason i use it cause of mass effect 3 (finished it) and now use it for bf3 cause i have no choice. not to mention the *******s at EA are making me NOT use steam.
Might want to try uninstalling Origin and reinstalling then. It should run about the same as Steam does. It's about the same as far as intrusiveness goes. I get better download speeds with Origin, but that's probably because the servers aren't as bogged down as Steam's are. During sales especially Steam can be really slow. Origin actually starts faster and is more responsive than Steam is for me, but I don't like it's interface. Also EA aren't making you not use Steam, Valve is making you not use Steam for Battlefield 3. That whole little spat there between Valve and EA about EA's games was due to Valve's weird patch/DLC rules, which they've thankfully changed now. It's not just EA that had an issue, Capcom had an issue as well where they released DLC and patches for some of their games and it took over a week (and almost a month in one case) for Steam to have the files up and ready after all the other services. With a game like Battlefield 3 it's pretty easy to understand why EA would want to avoid that kind of thing, it would be pretty devastating to fracture the community like that in a competitive game like BF3.
And before I get accused of being some sort of zealous EA fan or Steam hater, I'll point out that according to Steam I have 150~ games purchased though Steam, mostly stuff that I already had in other formats but that I got on sale as I wanted the convenience of having them on Steam. I have a grand total of 9 games on Origin, 5 of which I actually purchased through Steam.