So I read the last book. Here's some thoughts. No spoilers--I am passionately anti-spoiler. But gosh darn it, one of my friends had best finish the book soon so I can talk about it with someone!!!!!!!
1. I thought I'd be sad that the story was over. And I kind of am...but not really. She ended it so well, and so completely, that I am really ok with no more Harry Potter stories.
2. Harry finally becomes a man. Not a "grown-up", not a "guy," but a real man. No more whining, excues, or procrastination (no, this isn't a spoiler, you can see it in the end of the 6th book). This book really brings home the fact that these characters are of age now. They have chosen their side, and are paying the price, but they are adults now. Very well done, Ms. Rowling, it's been so long since we've seen real men and women in young adult fiction!
3. The themes. Oh my goodness! Such wonderful themes! This is the payoff of all the other books, and all the other great conversations. The famous "it's our choices, not our talents" conversation from book 2? This is the payoff. The great scene between Dumbledore and Harry at the end of Book 5? This is the payoff. The excellent part in book 6, when Harry realizes that walking into the battle of his own accord is a greater, more noble thing than being forced into it by a prophecy? This is the payoff. The loyalty of the friends, the bravery of the Order, the sacrifice made by loved ones, all those themes that Rowling's been playing with come to fruition here.
4. Kleenex. You will need it. Lots of it.