I still don't think he's dead.
Clark Gregg (Coulsen) will be in the Nick Fury movie, so we'll see him again.
Whedon apparently likes Clark Gregg he will be the leading role in Whedon's upcoming Shakespeare adaptation of Much to Ado about Nothing.
Gregg and 5 other Whedon fav actors from Firefly,Dollhouse,Angel/Buffy.
The Walking Dead,Fatale,Near Death,Storm Dogs,Happy,BPRD,XO-Manowar
American Vampire,Animal Man,Swamp Thing
Daredevil, Winter Soldier,Indestructible Hulk
Phil Coulson Will Return...in Marvel Zombies!
"Family Guy jumped the shark when i stopped getting high every time i watched it. " - Alex
The unflappable Agent Coulson as a creepy Cap fanboy was one of the best parts of the film. "I watched you while you were sleeping. I mean ..."
"Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson
It pretty much had to be Coulson because his was the one death that would mean something but, equally important, he'd shown up in the other films personally trying to recruit everyone on the team to begin with. We get to come to The Avengers already knowing the guy sincerely believes in the character of the people he's recruiting and in the viability of the Avengers project. His death gets to mean something in terms of the Avengers as a standalone film but, obviously, it will mean more for people who've seen the other films. The creep Cap fanboy moment was fun. Cap's trying to play it cool but he's still weirded by it all. :)