As a starter(day one) I find it very odd there apppears to be no simple direct way to buy ethereum. I dont want to an exchange/broker ' as i have had bad experience that was not resolved(reminds me of early paypal days when they would hold your money for infinity whilst 'so called' security checks were being performed lol. How do we keep the robber barons out of the crypto scene when centralized global banks for example;JP morgan itself is looking at the block chain tech for a centralised purpose. Interesting stuff. Please comment.
localethereum is in the making (currently ~80% done). It could be a more direct way to buy ether from someone else instead of going through an exchange.
Here in Vienna we have (afaik) a Ether/Bitcoin cash machine to buy Ether/Bitcoin directly with cash. But i've never used it, just heard about it.
A fundamental fact to blockchain currencies is that they are decentralized. There is no central authority that owns, creates or issues Ether.
So, when you say "buy Ether", you mean exchange a certain amount of your currency of choice for a certain amount of Ether, but what should be the ratio? What is a fair market rate?
For that, you need to compare supply and demand, which is exactly what happens on the exchanges. They facilitate and broker the exchange process, and charge a fee for their services.
Of course, you are always free to track down a miner (or any holder of Ether) and make him an offer for his Ether against any goods, services or currency of your choice. That is absolutely a direct way to buy Ether that is available to you.
For most people, the most convenient way to do that is to use a broker.