The community may have been better off keeping mt gox afloat, in order to stabilize the market and thereby averting additional losses in bitcoin market value.
With the collapse of essentially the largest exchange for bitcoin, if indeed bitcoin value plumets even more, what would people rather lose; a few dollars each to inject into mt gox to clear up its debt (getting you long-term stablity), or would you rather let mt gox fail and risk another huge loss in bitcoin value costing people far far more as a whole?
This is the logic behind "too big to fail", and it's basically what the U.S. government did in 2008: bail out all the thieves and crooks on the basis that as unpalatable as that might be, not bailing them out would have much worse consequences on the economy as a whole.
But this is an extremely hard sell. A government can do it (though even then, TARP was rejected by Congress once before they were spooked into passing it by more bad economic news). But there's no way a distributed group of libertarians, many of whom turned to Bitcoin specifically as a reaction to these kinds of shenanigans, is going to be able to pull that off.
There actually is a way they could conceivably fix the problem, if it turns out that one or a small number of people stole the Bitcoins and the thief still has them. You'd also need access to the Mt.Gox records, showing what depositor is supposed to own what. The blockchain could be used to find out where the coins went, and if you could convince 51% of the Bitcoin network to go along, you could take the funds back from the thief/thieves against their will and return them to the depositors. But that only works if most of the money hasn't already been spent, and it would require a massive coordinated effort. Probably not going to happen.