The "not-Joss"ness has been showing in the writing. Interestingly, not so much on Angel -- Tim Minear has done a rather good job there, from most accounts. I haven't tuned in much, but what I've caught has been fairly interesting. And they appear to be continuing the fine tradition of "nobody ever really dies on Buffy" on the show. :)
I will be pretty much not sad when Buffy ends. It's time. It has had a good run. I enjoyed it, and there are certain characters that still have life in them; there are certain stories that could still be told, yes -- but this story, this phase, draws to a close. Time for a new one to start. Not sure what it will be, what's out there, but there will be something. We lost Babylon 5, but then Buffy came along. I don't want it to wear out its welcome - the charm has begun to wear a bit thin in places. As all-over-the-place as some of the writing has been this season, like many, I'd prefer to see it go out on a strong note -- which I'm hoping it will do. I think it will: Whedon is writing the final ep. It's not precisely that I will miss Buffy. I mean, I will, the characters are familiar and comfortable, but really, it's more that I will miss something occupying that "television of reasonably good quality" niche. If Whedon returns with a spin-off, after some time to regroup, refresh, and rest -- the man surely deserves it -- I'm sure I'd tune in just to see. I'm still sorry Firefly was cancelled.
We fans hope you'll take Buffy out with a well-earned bang, Mr. Whedon: it has worked hard, earned a place in fandom's heart, and deserves a good ending. I'm ready. But no matter what happens, we'll get one last "Grr, aarrgh."