Valve has finally done it: they've finally made buying games online just as convenient as buying them in a box. They just did it the wrong way: they made the CD installation so painful that it actually would have been easier to get it online. I bought the game on CD because (1) I like boxes and optical media, because I like physical objects, and (2) because I didn't trust Steam to not get in the way with me enjoying Half-Life 2. It turns out that to play the game from the CD, you still have to use Steam (which is, I guess, old news to those of you who knew this all yesterday). And, according to Lincoln, you still need the CD in the drive to play the game, which defies all human logic.
Oh well. It's here. And, after a shortened day at work, I'm going to get to play it.