First, let's take a moment to point fingers at this article here which points out how they'll catch the people who put the Harry Potter manuscript online a week early. I'm all for the revolution, but have to say, I thought it sucked someone leaked it (though kudos for taking 700-plus photographs).
Now, onto the book. Loved the book -- loved seeing the world, loved when Ron left (and came back), love patronuses, love the elfs coming in, loved how outrageously clever J.K. Rowling is, love Neville even more (still my favorite character after Harry), loved that last scene with Harry and Dumbledore (who still is Rowling's best voice), and even loved the Lord of the Rings locket making them all Smigel.
Oddly, didn't love the set piece of the final battle, or Harry faking unconsciousness for so many pages, but that's the hardest part of trying to beat expectations: those damn expectations keep getting in the way. But I'm not complaining. I'm thrilled with the book. Do I have a few quibbles? Of course. Was the epilogue sorta sappy? Sure. Was the Snape origin sorta rushed? Yes. And did I want more comeuppance for Malfoy? Damn I am. But, bitching about those details is like bitching that they replaced the old Anakin with the new one at the end of Jedi: Fair point, but if that ruins it all for you, you've got bigger problems.
Most important, on my wish for Harry to die. I admit I wanted it -- still do becasue it's something I didn't think she'd do (and we all want what we can't have). But looking back (and ignoring my righteous bloodthirstiness, and even my love of dear Frodo): wanting Harry dead is cool. But it's unfair. And it comes from us wanting her to write OUR book. The book for us. And at the end of the day, as epic and beautiful and realized as the Potter world is, it's still a book for young people first. And as much as I love lessons of loss and sacrifice, I'm starting to backpedal and come to grips/rationalize that when I teach it to my children, the lesson still needs to be that Harry LIVES for being good, not that Harry dies. As I type these words, I'm already in my own internal debate, but y'know what? I don't care. Because the trip was that thrilling for me.
And so...I've decided to be thankful. Like the walk-to-death chapter says: That's what the world needs more of. So thank you, Ms. Rowling for handing us your world. We'll take good care of it.