Great article by Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance: Ask Chris #67
Perhaps I should have thought of the topic before I read his, because I find myself with absolutely nothing to add on the topic of Barry Allen and his disappointing return to the DCU. Chris expertly sums up the value of Barry's death and the incredible ways in which so many authors leveraged it to turn Wally West into something more than just a temporary stand-in.
He also references my favorite Flash story ever: The Return of Barry Allen.
If you don't know it, you don't appreciate just how good Waid's run on Flash was, or just how much the character grew over the next decade. Your loss.
All of that said........any Spider-Men reference definitely weakens the argument, because of how much he sucks.