It's interesting to see how the Western press is summing up the Olympics. Thomas Boswell, one of the premier sports writers in America, has this to say.
The only thing that I'd add to Boswell's piece is something that he would have no way of knowing: The Chinese Communist Party can focus the attention of its people and its security services for limited periods of time, say the two weeks of the Olympics. But after that China does (and will) return to a certain normalcy. Now, whether that normalcy will be altered or improved by having hosted the Olympics is another question. Time will tell. But I think Boswell's concerns are legitimate ones and eloquently expressed.
This question -- of what happens in China after the Olympics -- is explored in a post by the Chinese blogger Li Puman here. Li intimates that the whole issue of a "post-Olympic" China might be more of a fascination of the West than a reality in China.