I just beat HL2:E1 (about 3 minutes ago) and it was an awesome game. The ending was incredible. I can't wait for the second episode to come out. People have been saying that E1 was too short, and for a price of $20, I would have to agree. For $10-15, I'd say it's just right. I spent a lot of time looking at all the great graphics in the game so it took me a little longer than it would have if I had just played straight through.
I'm thinking about getting F.E.A.R. to hold me over until E2 is released. I've heard good things about it and my friend Scott recommended it. He also recommended that I get HL2 when I first started looking at games to play. He was spot on.
Check out what I found on Youtube.com. It's clips from Half Life 2 used to make a music video of "So Cold" by Breaking Benjamins.