Grumble, grumble!I always felt that Fred (and Tara) were versions of Willow, in that they were 'the sweet, shy but clever girl'. We already had a Willow and once she became stronger and more confident in herself, we had new version of old Willow in Tara. I don't think the show could have born another version of Willow, and I certainly didn't want to see another version. That character was already a bit worn out for me.
(Just imagine a great scene, with Fred taking a page out of Travis' book at the Alamo, drawing a line on the ground with a sword, "Anyone prepared to fight to the death, under the rightful command of Buffy, cross over this line and stand with me. Anyone not willing, there's the door. Saddle up and ride out now. We don't heed quitters here.")
I'd much prefer Fred's: 'If evil comes then we'll fight it and we'll keep on fightin' it until we whoop it!
And then everyone going 'aw, bless. Okay then, to the vineyard!'