It's not the news that it probably won't be coming out this year that really bothers me. What bothers me is Valve's absolute REFUSAL to commit to anything whatsoever regarding the future of the franchise other than saying it has a future.
Because at this point - almost two and a half years since the last episode was released - the fact that Valve won't even confirm that episode 3 is being actively developed almost certainly means one of two things:
1. Valve don't even know themselves what form the next installment will take
2. Valve have decided to kill Episode 3 entirely and roll whatever story elements it contained into Half Life 3
But they don't want to confirm either of those things because they know (ESPECIALLY after their PR fiasco with L4D2) that telling their fans either of the above will piss them the hell off. So they're stonewalling us instead.
Yeah, it sure ain't the end of the world. But after, as i said, almost two and a half years, it sure as hell is aggravating.