but it was just basically everyone being dead, except Angel and Spike, and just a lot of stupid stuff happening. That just made me not want to check out Buffy Season 8 (and Season 9, etc) even more.
This part of your statement makes me think that you only read the pre-"After the Fall" Angel comics, which did NOT have Joss' involvement. They are NOT post-series canon. "After The Fall", which was based on Joss' plot for Angel season 6, and the comics that followed, superseded those comics and ARE part of the post-series canon. In these books, Angel and Spike are not the only survivors, in fact Gunn and Conner showed up in Angel and Faith, and Illyria is an important part of Buffy season 9.