I have to say, Near has grown on me for reasons unrelated to his puckery little albino asshole.
L was entirely too hamstrung by the whole "he's Kira...but he's my ONLY FRIEND IN THE WORLD, I'M SO RONERY" angle. Near comes from the vindictive, dispassionate school of RONERINESS, and he gets fucking results. I respect such cold-bloodedness far more than such pathetic denial out of emotional co-dependency.
"BUT HE'S MY FRIIIIIIEND!" Near doesn't need friends. He has Legos. That's BETTER than friends. And if he ever needs a quick fix, he's got Lidner on speed dial for an awkward quickie in the SPK break room at 2 AM.