The reason being... it's official - L is dead. I just don't really know what to think of the twist that Tsugumi Ooba-sensei decided to construct...to put it simply, it's a case of 'L is dead, long live L'... Whether it's because of the influence of the other live journals I read (flowright's, in this case) or just how clichéd it seems once the development came out...but for me, the plot was heavily connected with the interaction between the two geniuses - Ryuuzaki (L) and Light (Raito). Their sparring, and their 'friendship' was probably the glue that held many fans to this manga...And if I keep going...I have the feeling I'm going to be a little incoherent, so that'll have to do.
On the other hand, with regards to Naruto 249... I can't say I wasn't expecting the fight to have this outcome, but I had hoped it might last a bit longer. Still, it's nice to know that Kishimoto-sensei has written weaknesses into practically all of his characters' techniques and specialities. Now...when will we find out a few of the Akatsuki's weaknesses? As for Gaara...I don't really want to think about it the way some people on myth720's journal are...I thought it was a fitting development in his character.