My initial thoughts:
Probably for the better in the drive to unseat Obama, but only because of the political corruption of the media and establishment Republicans, who have been relentless in their attacks on her. It disgusts me that a candidate of such quality cannot run as a practical matter, and that we are left with second and third choices. But reality is reality, and it would have been a tough road to overcome the past three years.
Palin had the opportunity to be a game-changer in the direction of this country; someone who really understood at a gut level how far down the road we are on the path to a country we will not recognize; someone who understands that the political class holds the country by the throat, and that removing the grip is necessary not just changing who holds the grip.
I do not begrudge her the time she took at all. I respect that she took the time, and in the end made a sound decision, even if it is a decision which leaves me profoundly disappointed in the coming year.
Added: h/t to commenter hrh40:
If you want to know how disgusting our own party is, and what types of creeps have influence, witness Erick Erickson crowing:
At a moment when Erickson could have shown himself to be a mensch he showed himself to be a schmuck. And of course, managed to make it about him. As pointed out in the comments, he is asking “Can we all be friends now?” The answer is no.