Definitely a shame we didn't get a new ATV, but dying? Well, they keep announcing and including new channels quite regularly, so it'd have to be a very recent decision to end of life the product, and probably quite a few companies would take issue with such a decision.
Still, the lull we're in with this product is growing more painful all the time, especially when both Amazon and Google have released more feature rich products to compete against the ATV, Apple must feel the heat so when they update it, unless it's got some wow factor they might as well kill it off.
They did mention it with the continuity stuff. He Airplayed to an ATV without it being connected to a network. Like others have said, I think they're just at a standstill with what they're willing to do with it.
They don't want an app store, so without a change in the content providers... there's not much else they can do. Anything else they add won't help the ATV, and it will cut into their margins.
A lot of the potential improvements are in the OS which is free and generates no revenue for Apple.
Plus adding more subscriber based options like HBO benefits the provider and not Apple.
They do benefit from apps, so you would think an App Store would be a no brainer.
Their hardware improvements in iPhone and iPod etc. are more copying what already is being done in the Adroid world. Larger screens, thinner, faster chips, gold color etc.
So have a look at what is already being done by Google and expect to see it in a year or two from Apple.