I've hated this episode with all my heart, first time i saw it.
Being a DJer since the Pilot, i couldn't stand the way in which the writers have treated Dawson and Joey.. They've always told us they've wrote it so "to please all the fans, DJers and PJers", to give an happy ending to everyone.. Dawson&Joey in The Creek, Pacey and Joey in real life.
Truth is, nobody was pleased. Or, at least, me and a whole bunch of friends weren't pleased at all.
But, watching it again 3 yrs later has made me think. What TPTB did, is to let a fairytale become real. And fairytales can't exist in the real world in the same way they were in fantasy.. 'cause it's way harder, and nothing's just as you think it would be. So this finale simply tells us that Dawson and Joey will always have the fairytale happy ending, but in the real life, you are going to live with your Pacey. P.S. Loved Jen's storyline, in particular her last speech for Amy, totally heartbreaking. And Jack/Dough too. Everyboody just KNEW from the beginning of Dawson's Creek that Dough was gay.. lol