I'm so very sorry to hear of your experience.
It's not my intent to dismiss or minimize what you went through. OR.. to make excuses for what happened. It sounds as if you chose to use the CNET Download.com Installer, instead of clicking on "Direct Download Link" (just below the green "Download Now" button) which bypasses the "download manager".
If you mouse over the "Download Now" button, with "CNET installer enabled" just underneath in the same green box, a pop-up will appear which states:
'About CNET Installer: The CNET Download.com Installer is a tiny ad-supported stub installer or "download manager" that helps securely deliver your downloads from Download.com's servers. We also include offers for carefully screened software that complies with Download.com Software Policies as part of our Installer process. Learn more'
According to Jen from CNET Support / Customer Help:
'You also have the option to turn off the Installer for the whole site, though you do currently need to have a CNET account and be logged in to take advantage of that feature. To do so, login to the site, click the "My profile" link and then the "Update my Download.com Preferences" link, select the "Off" option and click the "Save Changes" button.
If you need any further assistance, please contact our support team directly by filling out the form and clicking "Submit" on the following page:
In the future.. IF you ever find yourself with an unwanted toolbar (no matter the software OR download site), there are (free) tools and/or methods to remove them. At the very least, post and ask prior to spending your hard earned money at a shop. You have nothing to lose by doing so.
Again. I'm not making excuses for what happened. But only making you aware of the alternatives.
Consider me .. "only the messenger"..
I just purchased an ASUS touchscreen notebook, and the same day downloaded "JPEG Lossless Rotator" from CNET. I was immediately infected with the Imminent Toolbar & all it's associated crap. It was impossible to remove. It changed my home page and search engine and wouldn't allow me to change it back or disable it. It also wouldn't allow me to uninstall it nor could I get on the internet to download any malware or spybot program to delete it. I had to put my brand new computer in the shop to have it removed, which cost $94. This is the second time I've downloaded something from CNET and had this happen. Why don't you screen the programs you sponsor more closely???