There has to be some bitterness as to how R.E.M. stopped being a band. They overstayed their welcome, put out four or five boring albums in a row, and they are not going to be missed. Their final album, Collapse Into Now, was ignored by everyone except the reviewers who were shocked to discover that people had moved on.
People do miss the original four members, and in 1989, they were the best American rock and roll band, period. End of story.