Here's the catch. I saw the seasons with David Tennant after Matt Smith already had the role, after I'd already seen The Eleventh Hour. That's why the end of Ten was almost too much for me to bear. I hate sad stories and losing beloved characters. I hate end-of-the-world, bleak, doom scenarios. More than that, I hate when writers treat the end of a season as if it's the end of the series, leaving fans numb to the episodes that follow it.
I wish I could block out seeing The End of Time, because it always makes me remember Ten in a negative light - tragic, desperate, falling apart, even though he knew he could regenerate. This was not the Doctor I wanted to remember.
That's why Eleven stuck in my head like a favorite song. He was refreshing and upbeat in a way Tennant's Doctor could never be. So when Ten regenerated, I was ready for a change. I needed new hope. I needed a new hero. I needed Matt Smith.
That's why I love Matt Smith's Doctor, and why I wish the rest of the fandom would give him a chance.