I hope everyone's gotten a chance to watch all the deleted scenes by now, even those of us without a blu-ray player on hand *rumble grumble*
In general, my feelings ranged from "Good scene, but I understand then cutting it out" to "Oh yeah, that scene was born to be cut." I don't think there was a single scene that made me go "AUGH WHY DIDN'T THEY KEEP THAT IN," which happens more often than you'd think.
I liked the additional information provided by the extended China sequence, with the Summer Bride helping Big Joe give up not just drugs but also crime. It's sort of implied in the film as it is, but this makes her influence clear. And she got to speak, which was nice. But it was too long, and made the movie focus too much on Big Joe, when it's really Little Joe's movie. And the scene on the beach was kind of cheesy.
I wondered, during my first viewing, why Abe would let Kid Blue live, and I really like the scene where he gets dragged out back and escapes. It lets Kid Blue have the upper hand for once, and his shouts of "I'll be back!" would make his later return all the more triumphant. And the scene where he talks to the cop was cool, further showing us the extent of Abe's influence on the city...but again, it was all too long. And I like Rian's explanation for cutting out Kid Blue's escape, because that scene was about him and Abe, so once he leaves Abe's office the emotional beat is over.
I was torn about the bit after Suzie and Joe's "unlove scene." The reveal that Joe wasn't supposed to know about her daughter was chilling, but I think it took away from the subtlety of that glance at the clock, revealing that she doesn't care about him. It would set us against Joe too much, and he's supposed to be our (albeit anti-) hero.
Sara showing Jesse the basement: terribly amusing (I love it when she pours out the bucket), but too long and unnecessary.
Probably my least favorite, or most-supported, cut scene was Big Joe rambling crazy-style to Suzie, which just felt tonally weird and unnecessary.
I think my favorite aspect of the deleted scenes as a whole was this: If they'd kept in the scene where Joe warns Seth to save money so he won't have to resort to being a gatman, a stooge for something else, and if they'd ALSO kept in some of the extended China sequence, we'd have seen Joe holding up the convenience store with two other men wearing the same outfit as him, which really hammers home that, despite his efforts, he has become exactly what he was trying to escape. BAM.
I'm way too lazy to ever be truly belligerently insane.