Oh yes, I agree. The key here is finding that file you seek. Once found it behooves the user to help in the distribution process and perhaps re-post the file, without the front-end that bundles the crap. Here we find a restoration
of the initial concept of freeware, taking back the free instead of trying to tell a giant to stop misbehaving!
CNET makes this a bit easier than most, the files they bundle are in a 443k "front-end" that is named something like this; cnet_filename.exe.exe or cnet_filename.zip.exe. Once executed, "Step 2" of their front-end is the bundler, now NOT prechecked, once you click "NEXT" the true file downloads. In "Step 3" clicking the button "LATER" exits the front-end. Well at this point the actual unadulterated install file you seek is in your download directory. The user can then delete the front-end. After this you can enjoy the file in the description you found, without the added toolbars, shopping addons, coupon finders, etc... Then upload the file to your favorite freeware site including a proper description. A little less than simple, not impossible.
This indeed takes some time, so freeware authors who still place the "fileid.diz" and "readme.txt" within an archive could help streamline the recovery process. Back in the day... <my age is gonna show> BBS's or Bulletin Board Systems (remember dialing them with your 300bps modem?) <grin> would read this file and automatically extract the authors description, which in many cases is the most appropriate description to use for the file.
Anyway.... Perhaps a new forum can be borne, how to recover the free in freeware? User instructions, discoveries, tips-n-tricks to carve out the crap! Then a place to offer the files. Certainly there are more ol'-school freeware lovers out there that remember the HACK was no more than a short-cut. Time for a reunion...........
Life is inspiring others to do good.