Matt Gemmell just posted a great summary of some of the recent discussion about comments on blogs.
One line in his write-up stuck with me, because it's basically what I experienced as well:
For most people in this discussion, the main worry about switching off comments has been a fear of reducing engagement or conversation. For me, that was about 50% of my concern; the other 50% was that I really, really liked getting those comments each day from people who (for the most part) agreed with what I'd written. I was in the absurdly privileged position that disabling comments amounted to switching off daily reassurance and validation. Accordingly, any accusation that I'm hiding from disagreement is frankly ridiculous.
and, on the sense of ownership and "home":
You imagine that I'm trying to remove your right to attach a note to a public noticeboard, or to participate in a town-hall debate (which would indeed be reprehensible of me, and a violation), but from my perspective, I'm asking you not to scribble on my newspaper, or to be boorish at my dinner party. It's simply down to a different perception of the purpose, and thus degree of ownership, of a blog as a whole. To me, this is my home on the internet. You're most welcome to visit as often as you like, and to stay for as long as you like, and I'm sure you'll understand if I retain the right to set the rules while you're here.