I've just downloaded the full redistributable package of .NET framework 3.5 SP1 for offline installation. It's easy to tell if you're getting a dumb downloader that does about nothing or the real package: The latter one is more than 10 MB large. So I got that 200 MB package which is *huge* and started it. But what do I get to see? "Downloading: 53 / 63 MB". It's actually downloading stuff. Why is it doing that? This is supposed to be an offline setup package! But not only that, it's reaching 63 MB but still not stopping. It keeps on downloading for a couple of minutes... I have no idea what that piece of programme is doing on my computer. Obviously it's lying about it all the time. How can I trust that programme if it's incorrectly declared and then even lying to me?
I have the same experience from the 3.5 non-SP1 redist package on another computer. It was still trying to download things. And although the computer was connected to the internet, the download failed. It just didn't increase the counter, like the MS website was offline.
So even with a "redistributable" installer of recent .NET frameworks, you're still highly dependable on a fast internet connection and on the availability of Microsoft's download servers. I really think this is not at all the purpose of an offline installation package. Microsoft, please correct these mistakes. .NET 1.1 and 2.0 redist were ~20 MB and entirely suitable for offline setup. Good ol' times... Back then where we still knew what the word "quality" means.