My friends say it's just me, but whenever Steam updates or downloads - which can take hours - it uses 99% of the CPU, makes everything else slow, and is itself glacial to respond at all. Does anyone else get this and have you ameliorated it somehow?
Even after the update and despite the download finishing six hours ago, Steam continues to run at 99% CPU. I had to exit Steam and restart it to get under 90% usage (now it's 2%). However this behavior is frequent enough that I see it as a problem I need to avoid from recurring. Right now, one of the other differences is that the VM size grew from ~15,000K to 84,116K and settled, whereas last time you saw it grew to 229,264K.
My machine has an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ CPU (not dual core), 2GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce 7600-something and 500GB disk space.