Also ZG the Merry's reappearance isn't unimpressive you're just looking at it the wrong way and need to read 230 as well if you haven't to get the full picture. To summarise it's like the Merry is a faithful dog old in years who rushes out to save it's young master from wolves though fatally wounded the dog saves it's master and dies in his arms. Is it unimpressive? No I say it is more than impressive Merry will never be forgotten like the dog she went above and beyond her limits, with a little help from Mr Lettuce, sacricing what little remained ofher life to save those she cared about her only regret being that she could no longer share in their lives. Such sacrifice, especially from such an iconic image of One Piece could never be unimpressive, while we all talked about possible alternatives you were right, in our hearts we knew it would be Merry but now she's gone and we all feel a little adrift and are striking out in our own ways.
EDIT: Oh yeah ZG welcome to the one piece forums and with this topic I expect to see you in the latest manga discussions thread as well.