Lots of insight, thought-provoking ideas here including this very important point by joanna:
I think everyone has to make their own paths. There is no right way to leave, you can't write a guidebook for this.
As for me, I consider myself a "fader" because I didn't write a letter or invite any official congo action for some or most of the reasons others have already posted.
Once we saw the light, we carefully planned our exit strategy based on the "fade" model. We moved to another congregation in the same circuit. Later I resigned as an elder citing health problems as much more serious than they were. We used that to start missing meetings and FS often. Then we stopped going altogether. A month later an elder called to get our FS time. I gave him some bogus numbers and told him we were moving over to another congo physically closer to our home. He volunteered to send our cards over, which f*&%ed up the line of responsibility in terms of which elders were responsible for following up with us.
At that point, we reevaluated our plan, which was to go sporadically to the new congo and then just stop. We decided it would be better strategy to just not show up at the new KH. By then we had had some talks about our doubts with family and knew we wouldn't be shunned for walking away.
Today, none of our family is in the organization. They lost six publishers, four former pioneers, and one elder. I have no idea what the former "friends" think of us, since virtually none of them have bothered to inquire about us (at least to our face). I occasionally run into dubs at work or in a store and they generally walk across the way to avoid contact or they make superficial small talk and scurry off. I enjoy the consternation we've apparently caused them. It puts them on the defensive and makes it less awkward for us.
I suppose some day we'll be seen coming out of a church or celebrating Christmas or a birthday, but we just don't care. If someone showed up at our door or called to announce a JC meeting, we'd just laugh and tell them they have no authority over us. Meanwhile, we are not about to recognize that authority in any way, and that includes writing them a letter as though we still thought of ourselves as members.
We have old all our workmates that we are no longer JWs. We've made new friends and developed new interests. We consider ourselves on a never-ending spiritual journey. And we love our new freedom. It is so liberating to be totally uninvolved with the dubs.