Age off empires2 is very much alive. I'm playing it every day. There are no better RTS than this. Right now its cheap on Steam aswell with the new HD version.
You can easly find GOOD oppents aswell, or if your new, bad players also exsist.
You can also save money and get a cracked version off originale AOE2 and play on Voobly.
RTS never died. They are still alive. Right now Viper (1# world AOE2 player) just won Clash of the Titans with money pools for over 15k dollars...Okay its a drop inn the water compared to SC2, but I really like AOE2.
Edit: Look up Zeroempires on youtube for some pro AOE2 videos....Especially viper's recent games inn clash of the titans vs Jordan.