We really just want to make everybody happy, and that's really hard. If we say we want to turn right, half the community asks, "why not left?". We can explain forever, but it's difficult following our long posts and replies in threads of 1000+ comments. So if you're not following everything, please trust us that when we choose one action or another, we're not intentionally leading the site into a fiery abyss of death, as many of the doomsday prophetizers keep suggesting. We have reasons for removing invite codes, and those reasons are not rooted in evil or ignorance. We want the site to keep being awesome. It started without invite codes and grew awesome, and it can continue to do so now without.
Invite codes were just a temporary crutch back when our server backend couldn't handle things. And then we came to rely on that crutch, afraid to let go.
Please, understand that we want this and we're ready for it. We have tons of extra hardware standing by. We have potential plans to deal with all the proposed upcoming problems, but we won't take any action until it's necessary. We don't want to change things just to change things. (We know that can be frustrating.) We're only going to be fixing actual problems, and invite codes were a problem.
That said, don't be surprised if new little problems pop up, as they always do. Don't freak out the first time a page takes a little too long to load. We're watching these things all the time, ready to fix whatever. Our server backend is very impressive these days. I actually sleep at night lately. We'll be able to handle the influx of new accounts. Even if we run into some minor flames on the way there, we're not going into the fiery abyss.... I won't let us. ;-)
Update, 1:50 pm PST: Wow... new accounts are being created 4 times faster than normal. Crazy. Oh, if you're in Seattle, Portland, Denver, or San Fran areas, here's the list of theaters where you can see the LiveJournal commercial starting today. (only one is playing in theaters, but we'll post them all online in MPEG and WMV formats soon....)