I saw this link and couldn't help but repost:

Valve Names Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition the Preferred Development Environment for “Half-Life 2” Modifications.  http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/aug05/08-31ValveCPlusPlusPR.mspx

Now all I can do is cross my fingers and hope there is something to bring back the fire of Action Quake 2...