I was a huge fan of W.F.B. growing up in my teens and twenties, and he was very high on that list of "people that you'd like to have a conversation with", so I am also saddened that the latter isn't going to be possible now. I was an eager subscriber to National Review for a couple of decades, so do have some very nice autographed copies of his books which came out with subscriptions back in the day.
As much as he is credited with defining the conservatism which expressed itself in the "Reagan Revolution", Buckley himself was considerably "libertarian", being a solid advocate for personal responsibility versus governmental control in many areas, including being an opponent of numerous things which are currently labeled "socially conservative". It is a pity that the Republican Party has been hijacked by those whose loyalty is more towards bronze-age myths than the Republic.
Buckley had a brilliance and a clarity that should, by comparison, have made 99% of his Leftist opponents slink off into the shadows, as they were not only wrong, but they were embarrassments to their very incorrectness. It is a sad thing that one looks around and can find no one of his intellectual stature to say "here's the new generation", but minds like his are rare and wondrous, and his passing leaves the race poorer.
Again, I do wish that I could have spent some time with him, as he was truly one of my heroes, and a part of my spirit is made darker by his passing.