I really can't say much about Reagan. By default, I'm probably supposed to dislike him.
However, I was but a wee zygote when he first took office and 6 going on 7 when he left. Or would that be 7 going on 8? So, in retrospect, I really don't remember much politically from this period. I remember Jesse Jackson running for President in 1988 because I went to a rally in Center City Philadelphia with my mom. Other than that the only memories I have of his presidency are watching the Oliver North trials on TV with my cousins down in Miami one very hot summer and the stock market crash of October 19, 1987. Mom had just come back from San Francisco that morning and I got to go down to the trading floor in Philadelphia with her. I didn't have to go to school, although I was a weird child who liked going to school. (and the week prior I got a stomach virus on my birthday and puked everywhere, including on my favorite teddy bear. It was not pleasant. My dad didn't like it one bit either. That's a tangent though.) Anyway, my few memories of former President Reagan are rather negative, not counting what I learned much later through research of my own.
I suppose I'm writing this because I'm simply amazed at some people I know who are quite personally sad over his passing. How can they be? They have absolutely no memories of his 8 years in office. In fact some weren't even born until his second term. Perhaps he had a greater effect on people then I'm giving him credit for.
The point is, since I really don't have any real memories of him directly since I was busy being a kid (although I was a very odd child), just stuff that his policies caused (Ollie North and the stock market crash of '87), I'm rather ambivelant about the whole thing. I neither like him nor dislike him. And frankly, I find the hero worship a little bit creepy. Almost. . .Stalinistic.
Whether he was great or not is not for me to say. And to be honest, he probably didn't remember any of it. I currently have a grandparent in the stages of Altzhimers. So for that, while I'm required by default to dislike the man for setting loose this right-wing spend and borrow monster upon us all, I do have a bit of sympathy for the family. Not knowing who or where you are, or who your family is, when its your time to go is such an undignified end for anyone.
And that's all I'm really going to say about this.