In trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to articulate my feelings regarding Blue Beetle's death in response to the ever-talented Brian Cronin (of Comics Should Be Good and Snark Free Waters, I came across what I believe to be cardinal rules for character death in comics.
1. Characters die for two reasons: to further the plot, or to add emotional significance.
2. Characters who die in service of one or the other alone tend to not stay dead very long.
3. Characters whose deaths lead to better stories than their lives would have, whose deaths are justified, tend to stay dead much longer.
Guy Gardner died in one panel in Our Worlds at War. He's alive and kicking now. Barry Allen, Gwen Stacy, and Uncle Ben, however, are not. Their deaths have been justified by the stories that have been told as a direct consequence of their deaths.
Is Blue Beetle's death justified? The ramshackle reunion of the JLI in OMAC Project suggests that the writers think so. In the long run, only time will tell. How many years did it take before John Ostrander (in Martian Manhunter) and Kieth Giffen (in JLA: Classified) justified Ice's death?
More on this later. I promise.