Steampunk by itself, the books, the comics etc can be good fun. The problem is, in my experience, many who cosplay as Steampunk are insufferable pricks.
Steampunk is lasting because it bleeding in to the "punk cabaret" thing that was made big with bands like Dresden Dolls. They two genres are kind-of morphing/crossing over in to something new. But maybe that's only a Boston thing. With Harvard, MIT, and Berklee college of music, it can be difficult to tell when people are "playing" 19th century dress up, or if that's just the way they dress (how fucked up is that? Between that and Red Sox/Celtics/Bruins jerseys, it's a very bipolar city in which to live.)
Drinking/cocktail culture is adding to that as well. Try going to a high end bar in New York or San Francisco (aside from Alembic) where the bartenders AREN'T wearing old timey vests and there isn't at least one handle-bar mustache behind the counter.