Things that would have made Naruto better:
-those near-death moments? Make them FINAL MOMENTS! Those people need to die. This may or may not include the last fight with Naruto and that dick Sasuke, but if it does count then that's the end of the story.
-Sasuke must DIE! (Which still might happen...fingers crossed here guys...) or if not that, then make the story less about him and more about...oh, I don't know...Naruto?
-Sakura gets a few bitch-slaps from reality early on and her world is ripped a new one, after which she either a.) becomes a better, less useless character with some combat power all her own that actually kicks ass, or b.) goes insane, unlocking some demonic other form, and Naruto has to kill her in the end....Also, she would be much more moe than she was.
-Haku would have lived in a believable way, and come back later in a way that would make our heads spin.
-Less overdone character types, like the emo avenger or perverted old martial arts master thing
-Character development! about half of them act exactly like they did despite having gone through enough that they should have changed in a way we would regularly notice. I'm looking at you Sakura!
-LESS FUCKING FLASHBACKS AND EXPLANATIONS! Unless it's information we don't already have, or has not been said in 30 episodes, we don't wanna hear about it. And no move or skill should take more than a paragraph to describe. And on that note, try and trim off other useless waists of time too.
-Fillers...yea, nothing to say here...