Whilst I am categorically not in support of the outcome, it is far from the end of the world. Some quick thoughts:
The Opposition now owns Stephen Harper. The Opposition has demonstrated they can and are willing to unite and mobilise to defeat the man. Now, he can no longer count on their division to keep in power as in the last term. This may prove to be a far better unifying element than would be the case if a snap-coalition request were granted now with only a quickly drawn up agreement. This gives the NDP, Libs, and Bloc an opportunity - which I pray they take - to get used to working together against the Conservatives, and hone their game.
To be sure, Stephen Harper will use the next month and half to sow as much division among the Opposition ranks and inflame public opinion, as possible. He will produce a January budget designed to pander to Opposition needs in order to keep himself in power by dividing votes. However, I think something has changed. We saw this week a militant, aggressive and motivated campaign like we've never seen from the Opposition. Stephane Dion, speaking like we've never seen him, and I just heard Bob Rae, and Gilles Duceppe unload on Harper. And only Harper. They're pissed. This is a fundamentally good thing for this democracy, and makes Harper's minority position much more tenuous.