To me, BBC's leading paragraph summarizes Saddam the best.
He brought little but war and suffering to a people who should have been among the most prosperous in the Middle East, given the oil wealth the country sits on.
That is the crux of the despot that was Saddam. There is a twinge of sadness that is the result of any loss of life, but with Saddam's death I can only say one thing.
1 down. Many more to go.
As Abu Sinan said, "Why should this one die whilst we send others money, arms and political support to the other dictators? This is the same man who received arms, money and political support from the USA."
Saddam was a cruel man. Those of us who do not like the US administration or its policies should not fall into the trap of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' mindset. No present day Western leader in his or her most evil moments can come an iota close to Saddam's brutality. This was a man who had his own son-in-laws killed, who had his brother-in-law shot when he grew too powerful, who made a man divorce his wife so Saddam could have her, who had wives of his officers raped to teach them a lesson, who let his sons loose in Iraq, who gassed Kurds (no one asks where the gas came from btw), and so on. His list of crimes go on.
Death by hanging was a much more humane way for him to go compared to how he treated his foes.
I believe though Iraq was a much better place under Saddam than it is now. As long as you didn't speak up against Saddam or his cronies and kept a low profile you have a good (read: secure) life. Whether the death of 30,000 Iraqis ('more or less', as Bush callously stated, showing how much he values Iraqi lives) and the collapse of infrastructure of a country was worth the price to bring this one man to the gallows is a question history will decide.