Watched it twice now: live, but while exhausted, and replayed from DVR, while rested.
Finally ready to opine. I know you've been breathless with anticipation.
Neither man committed a major error; neither man achieved the kind of breakthrough moment that significantly sways independents and swing voters.
McCain was a little better than I thought he'd be, and Obama a little worse, but there was a basic competent sameness to their responses and approaches. Messages were carefully tuned to shore up the base and reach out to independents.
Watching the debate on CNN HD, viewers were treated to a focus group's responses in realtime at the bottom of the screen, as well as "judge's scorecards"--as if this were a boxing match--on the right and left-hand sides of the screens, as the panel of commentators awarded merits and demerits (also in realtime).
My take: lose the judges' scorecards, keep and expand the real-time focus group responses. As each candidate hit the hot buttons for his particular constituencies, the lines on the graph moved.
It looked like a web page.