I'm sure you're not trolling, it's just a matter of personal opinion obviously. However, I think what other people, myself included, saw in Half Life was a FPS with a consistent (not necessarily good) storyline which unfolded in a cinematic way through in-game scripted events. It wasn't about finding the red key for the red door - which IS the standard for just about every other shooter prior to HL. After HL if you sent the gamer off on a hunt for a particular door key hidden in an illogical or incosistent area and you weren't being ironic about it then your game got slammed. HL added months to the development cycle of games which were due for publication shortly after it appeared - no question. The support that Valve gave to MOD enthusiasts is right up there with id and that's high praise. Plus right off the block, almost, they released a free TF add-on, officially. Now everyone's doing that but it wasn't always the way. So while the HL story may not deserve all the praise it's gotten (no offense to Marc Laidlaw, who is a talented SF writer but he was working within clear constraints.)it was streets ahead of anything else available prior to it while still being an accomplished game in its own right.
I liked the game, its not as great as some were claiming it was, but its still good.