you got me emotional with your post and vm, coz like you i too didnt watch NBT from day 1 but started from a much later date ( FIL throwing chappal on Mohan in PL ) . the rest is history. ditto to all that you said, the characters despite being fictional, taught us many important do's and dont's of life which WILL stay as a lesson for us and not just plain entertainment.
but trust me, i have got over my feelings of sadness long back. and that's mainly coz of the fact that despite all " unthinkable and unfathomable " twists and turns, NBT somehow managed to retain it's quality unlike many other shows. so here's wishing Best Of Luck to the NBT team, and hoping that they comeback with a bang and with the same charm in season 2 to get us all hooked and gushing like we did in season 1.