At my old blog I posted a lot of Writer's Brain theories and nitpick's to "solve" the Reichenbach Fall. I'm dumping them all here, with some new ideas.
I fell into the trap, too. I was only looking at Sherlock. Sherlock said it himself, "Keep your eyes fixed on me!" So, whether sub or consciously, we have all been keeping our eyes fixed on Sherlock.
When Sherlock met John, his life became public. Too public. John was Sherlock's downfall <-- unintentional pun now intentional. Technically John was the first 'media' around Sherlock, through John's blog the world 'discovered' Sherlock. When Sherlock, and to a point Mycroft, saw him (Sherlock) getting too visible, they had to make him go away. They'd have to 'burn' him, (something akin to a burn notice, perhaps...?). Sherlock, the public persona, would have to die and escape the public eye permanently for his own safety and the safety of everyone he knew and cared for (cared for in his own way).
John is The Final Problem.
I believe everything that happened, everything we were shown in the ep, was largely for John's benefit. If John believed Sherlock had committed suicide - his closest FRIEND - everyone would believe it. There is no way John could keep Sherlock's non-death secret, nor Mrs Hudson or LeStrade. Only those who could keep their mouth shut would know (Molly kind of being the odd one out, but I have ideas on her involvement as well). Sherlock really was saying goodbye to John by way of his 'note' in a way, Sherlock didn't know at that point if he would ever be seeing John again. John would believe the lie because everything else before it was 'true' (to John, at least). Not solely witnessing Sherlock jump, that's too easy, but everything before it. Second season inclusive but, I suspect, there are trappings in the first season as well. Little hints and scraps. There are existing theories for Reichenbach that I enjoy, I'll get into those later, along with everything else.
It's the Moriarty involvement I need to really nail down, I only have wispy theory-lets right now. Someday they'll be full grown theories. (I promise none of the theories are "His real name is Arty Morty!")
I'm exhausted (school + working in retail + going right into Xmas = I'm currently a jabbering gibberish cray-cray type person) and maybe I'll see this in the AM and realize I'm a blithering idiot. It's happened before. I think there is merit to this, though. This is just an intro, and these are just ideas. I'm not claiming I'm in any way correct...in fact I'm probably so far off base that I'm playing another game all together. Creative thinking begets creative thinking, however, and I'm all for the creative thinking.
# In "The Great Game" Mycroft notes that Watson slept on the Lilo, not the couch, correcting Sherlock. If he can out deduce Sherlock on THAT...
...so how did Sherlock save and fake the death of Irene...
...Mycroft knew Arty Morty. If Mycroft can out think Sherlock, I highly doubt Moriarty could dupe him.
This all ties back to Mycroft somehow.
# Mycroft and LeStrade are in cahoots. As soon as Mycroft leaves, LeStrade calls. (Ok, not 'as soon as' but LeStrade didn't call until Mycroft left!)
# The big line people keep clinging to is, "I'll burn the heart out of you." What would have burned the heart out of him? Losing the people who had snipers trained on them. So really...Moriarty only THREATENED to burn the heart out of Sherlock. The turnaround is, oh Sherlock has to leave all those he cares about behind to protect them! But they're still alive. He's going to be lonely, miss them but...his heart is still in tact. Moriarty hasn't burned the heart out of him. Yet.
# Scandal in Belgravia. No one talks to Moriarty. Always through intermediaries. Third parties. Whispers. Doesn't get his hands dirty. "I will find you and I will skin you." He knows exactly where The Woman is. "If you have what you say you have, I'll make you rich." Irene Adler didn't want money for what she "had". While we are meant to believe that the conversation was between Moriarty and Irene Adler, methinks were being played more finely than Sherlock's violin.
What if Sherlock had planned all along (from his realization about the code on Irene Adler's phone on) to allow her to fall into a life or death circumstance, so he could 'free' her via her 'death'? Even Mycroft believed she was dead, he being 'very thorough this time' in the investigation into her supposed death.
It would lend to the idea that Sherlock had mastered faking death on a grand scale.
What if everything, seasons one and two, were just an elaborate plan to keep Sherlock busy and out of Mycroft's hair? Or at least under his thumb, so Mycroft can keep tabs on Sherlock no matter what.
It could lend to a larger plot of Mycroft's, though. Keep Sherlock busy for a while, then make him have to 'remove' himself from the overall picture.
On another train of thought, Irene Adler made a very convincing corpse, too.
Is it possible that Sherlock was supposed to originally 'die' on the 007 Bond Air Coventry flight? I mean, why else would he have a ticket? Mycroft is crafty, but not the 'cut and paste let's give my little brother a fake plane ticket for the sheer hell of it' kind of crafty. I don't see him as the scrapbooking type.
...unless the plane ticket had more information on it for Sherlock than just about the 007 flight. Flyaway Air? Hmm.
I want to get away,
I want to fly away,
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
# Irene Adler didn't call Moriarty. She was using the cell phone to record her goings-on with Her Highness.