I experienced the same thing with my Microsoft keyboard. I finally got rid of it and got a cheap Memorex Spill-Proof Keyboard which I really like -- best $14 I spent. The action is good, and it's spill-proof to prevent those unfortunate coffee spills.
But why - in the event of their demise - wouldn't Valve simply release a patch to enable regular-old-no-Steam-needed gameplay? If they're gonna close shop and the game is to become abandonware anyway, why would they care about the Steam authentication anymore? Seems to me like they'd just make one final patch that turns it on permanently.
Looks to me like that would be an easy way to pirate the game.
Well HL2 looks like the same old run and gun fps. Bloodlines is an RPG. My gaming preferences have matured and I've become sick of the same old run and gun therefore I think Bloodlines will be better.
2:15pm EST - Half-Life 2 CDs placed on desk!
2:17pm EST - Half-Life 2 CDs moved out of way of coffee cup!!
2:19pm EST - Half-Life 2 CDs handed to Larry!!!
2:19pm EST - Larry holds Half-Life 2 CDs!!!! Declares "woah".
2:21pm EST - Half-Life 2 CDs looked at by 10 other people!!!!!
2:21pm EST - Group "woah"
2:30pm EST - Half-Life 2 CDs do everything they goddamn can except go gold!!!!!!
from what I've read even if you don't buy an expansion a friend can still invite you to an expansion mission/land and you can still play together.
Strain made it clear that they will not punish you if you don't purchase it and your friends do; you'll still be able to play with them, though you won't be able to experience the new content. But they're certainly hoping players will choose to pay in order to continue the story.
Now, 750,000 players use Xbox Live