Last year, when Otto Octavius took over as Spider-Man, we ran a poll. The question was simple - How long do you feel the new "Superior Spider-Man" status quo will last?
32.8% of the respondents (7,444 votes cast) said that it would be finished by Superior Spider-Man #12 and 39.8% of the respondents said that it would be finished by Superior Spider-Man #24. So with a bi-weekly shipping schedule, essentially 72.6% of the voters said that it wouldn't last a year.
Obviously, they were slightly wrong, as Peter will be returning after the finish of the Goblin War storyline in Superior Spider-Man.
Which is fair enough, it was certainly fair to guess 24 issues (or less). However, most of the people guessed incorrectly. And yet all I see in response to the news is "Obviously Peter was going to return." Or something to that effect. Yes, I think it is fair to say that it was obvious that Otto Octavius would not remain Spider-Man forever. In addition, the whole "Peter will return by Amazing Spider-Man 2's release" made perfect sense.
However, I think that Marvel STILL surprised people with how they handled the situation, as seen by the fact that 72.6% of 7,444 readers thought Peter would be back by now. So let's give Marvel some credit here. They took something "obvious" and STILL surprised people with it.