They did some good in an area that's usually MIA in American culture--the cultivation of higher sensibility and that of the mind. Although they became one of the two big box book stores in the U.S., the mere presence of one often improved life for people by giving them broad access to lots of books that they otherwise would not be aware of or see. I know this first hand through growing up in a mid size town on the edges of the Detroit area. When a Borders opened up near Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights, it changed my outlook. Sure, I couldn't go there all the time because it was roughly twenty five minutes away, but it did enough. Before that the major bookstore was substantially farther, the Barnes & Noble in Rochester, which has since moved across the street into a new building.
I know Borders improved my life, and even though it became a place to avoid in order to support independent book sellers, still, I can imagine there being lots of people for whom Borders was the independent bookseller, or as close as they could get to it in their area. The only alternative to me for a while, besides the long trek to Rochester and Barnes & Noble facilitated by grumpy parents, was Waldenbooks in Lakeside Mall, since closed down and hardly comparable in any way to a Borders.
So Borders, I'll miss you.....but...looking on line it seems that the Redmond branch will still be open, which is good. If only underserved communities like Lynnwood could have retained there's.