And you're basing this "most loved" statistic on what, exactly? Because my experience says otherwise. Characters die in stories, and Cortana got closure to her story arc in 'Halo 4'. There is literally no good reason for her to come back - even most people who like the character seem to agree on this (check any poll/forum thread on here on the subject).
Neither would I. But she is one of the most loved video game characters of all time, I doubt that she will be gone for more than one game, if that.
Yes it does, I believe Halsey discusses it at some point in time during Onyx. If not then it's somewhere else. I know I have read it I just can't remember where...And even if 343 did bring Cortana back, I will definitely not protest silently if they decided to go for such a cheap option after giving her closure.
Also how do you know Cortana is gone? She doesn't need a physical data storage, she has proved that in Halo 4.
If you read my other post you can see my understanding of how Cortana might have escaped the destruction of the Didact's ship.
Also I have most of the Halo novels in PDF form - after searching I can confirm the words "metastable/metastability" do not come up anywhere in 'Ghosts of Onyx'.
Also the problem isn't about data storage (though I think you're incorrect anyway, as her data does need to be housed in some kind of physical object or system for her to function - that's how human-made AIs work). It's about the fact that she purged all of her data within the Didact's ship's systems in an attempt to slow it down, and was stuck in the Mantle's Approach when it was obliterated by a nuclear bomb. She even says herself that she used the last of her power to save the Chief from the explosion. You can't get past that. There's no way for her to have survived or escaped. She's been confirmed dead in every single official source since 'Halo 4'. End of story.
I apologize, that was my own assumption and biased opinion. There is no statistic that says Cortana is one of the most loved characters of all time (though I do want to believe she is in the top 100, I am to lazy to go back that claim up).
I am also basing this on personal preference, not majority vote, and if you have seen my other, more expansive post on my views, then you should be able to understand how I think Cortana could come back.
Metastability does exist in the Halo Universe, because I know I have seen the word in one of the books or heard it in one of the live-action or animated productions.
Yes I do agree with you that my idea of not physical storage is, while not completely impossible in the Halo universe (as opposed to ours which all data is stored on some sort of drive), is 99.9...% improbable. Though if she was to transfer herself to another data storage cache, say through superluminal travel in slipspace, it might be possible that she could still be alive.
And to counter her argument that she used the last of her power, how do we know that wasn't just one of her innumerable clones she generated to disable the Didact's hardlight shield?
And through what official source has she been confirmed dead?
If it's through a wiki then I can also say that metastability is canon.