*ducks from flying objects*
But, seriously...steam (as per Stardock CEO) has 70% of the digital distribution market. That's a lot of players. There is also a LOT of steam-only people out there. So by not publishing, even to a rival, means potential loss of a lot of players.
I'll even volunteer to run the Elemental official group and assist moderate the forums. I just would like as many people as possible for multiplayer games.
But put aside the fact that developer = publisher/distributor. To make the most $ you need the most distribution you can. And well, Steam even with its flaws has a huge playerbase.
Plus, Sins of a Solar Empire would rule there since they don't have anything comparable yet. (well, there really isn't anyway...)
Just a thought to make this more successful...