After reading Father Rutler's ruminations on the Novus Ordo, and some of the comments made about his thoughts, I will chime in.
As a point of information, I have been attending the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on a regular basis for roughly the last two years. Prior to that, I had no particular attachment to it, nor any particular desire to participate in it. However, I find now that when I attempt to participate in the Novus Ordo, even a fairly well-done Novus Ordo, I am left with an empty taste, as after eating too much ice cream for dinner. This was rather unexpected, and when I discovered it, it was more than a bit of a shock.
The best explanation I have yet heard for the Novus Ordo Mass is this: it is the children's Mass (which begs the question of why anyone ever saw a need for a children's Mass edition, but I digress).
The Novus Ordo is the children's Mass in the sense that it is accommodated to people who have an extremely low understanding of theology and God. For this reason, it is the most accessible Mass for a largely pagan population.
Speaking as a former RCIA director, I would be loathe to see the Novus Ordo Mass disappear. The points made by converts that they would never have converted had they access only to the Extraordinary Form are very well-taken.
I believe them.
They wouldn't have converted.
By definition, non-Catholics - even most Catholics - don't understand enough about God to understand why you would ever want to go beyond the heavily-Protestantized Ordinary Form. As with any idol-worship, we have to be weaned away from self-worship.
The Ordinary Form famously lends itself to self-worship. For this very reason, it allows a serious seeker a more seamless transition away from his self-idolatry towards an understanding of God, however rudimentary it may be.
However, once you grow in your understanding of theology, of Christianity and of Christ Himself, you will naturally gravitate towards the Extraordinary Form. Like any other process of growth, this transition will be rocky and difficult at times, even frankly off-putting (who ever really enjoys going through adolescence?) but the rewards are worth it.
And there is something to be said for letting those who wish stay in the semi-Protestant ghetto that is the modern NO parish. Let them have the secular language, the syrupy-song, the standing-reception. It may be sappy, but at least they get Jesus in the Eucharist and the other sacraments are valid. It is, at least, something; a Happy Meal for the itinerant street beggar who would feel self-conscious if he were asked to enter a real home, even his own.
But, for this very reason, the Extraordinary Form has to be commonly available as well, for a beggar who looks in the window often enough may come one day to yearn to live in the home that lies on the other side of the glass. If he looks in long enough, he will begin to realize the comfortable chairs are not chains, the crackling hearth is not heartless, the walls are not a prison. Rather, the home is so bright and warm, so protected and utterly different from his own experiences of the world, that he rather prefers it to standing in the snow, eating from the dumpster or sleeping in the ditch.
The new translation of the Novus Ordo is an important addition to the liturgical life of the Church if only because the porch where the beggars and homeless waifs live is finally being swept clean of unnecessary debris. It establishes a more appropriate intermediary place between the cold indifference of the pagan world and the sacred warmth of the ancient Christian faith.
The Ordinary Form is, and probably always will be, for the pagans and the beggar children of the world. We should simply take comfort in the fact that the Church has finally encouraged bishops to make a place for the adults as well.