Stopped using c|net's download.com quite some time ago, due to the issues noted above. Why download anything from here if one can go elsewhere and not have this sort of trouble?
Most people (users) do not have a backup plan, nor do they have a program similar to Ghost or other, so recovering from these issues is often not a small task, as it is when using a known clean image that was saved previously. We're talking hours and/or days, in some cases.
About that fallout:
Have been an user here for some time now, and have noted the forum queries have dropped off some from when I first started. How much, hard to say, but some forums I visit here sometimes have no new posts for a day or more, which is much different from when I first started.
I think running and offering the c|net download installer is hurting your brand more than it is helping you, and is then perhaps also causing some who might otherwise visit the forums to avoid them altogether.
Seriously, I'm with Bob as to impact with c|net branding. It appears to be going down, not up.
Trust is everything in this business and it is always a good idea to remember that.