Hitchens, along with Nasim Nicholas Taleb, Peter Ackroyd, and doubtless other whom I can't think of at the moment, was one of the few people I admired whom I would nevertheless not want to meet. Why? Because I would be ashamed of myself for not being able to hold up my end of the conversation.
The best encomium I've read so far comes from the excellent general blogger Cobb:
Now that Christopher Hitchens is dead, the English speaking world is going to be able to get by with a little more bullshit.