Why would you remove our precious little headcrab?
Nah kidding, of course this forum is still active. Though I belive the christmas rush and all that's been going on latley has made it not so superactive as we can ses sometimes^^ Also many residents has lately been kidnapped by udk, ough!
About modding half-life 2 there should be plenty of resources to get in the tutorail section, belive me, just take your time and you will see. But I can agree that it is hard to get going with the sdk as the state is of it now, it is crap! That is why someguy made some very good start of mod, witch of course I have forgott but hopefully someone after me can link it?
Though as you seem new to this hooby, maybe you should not rush into coding the hell out of source straight away. How much do you know about entitys really? More than info_player_spawn and some lights... What I meen is that there is a bunch of small cool things you can do without writing new code^^ Hammer is very powerfull when it comes to I/O imo.
So, welcome Traian!