sounds familiar. I had an 80GB early intel SSD (INTEL SSDSA2MH080G1GC) in a macbook pro, which gave me the OSX blue screen equivalent while I was working on it one day without any warning. it wouldn't even boot. Disk utilities under OSX (run from another system, obviously) were unable to even fsck the filesystems, so I replaced the disk. (I had the foresight to make backups, so I didn't lose anything.)
I moved the failed SSD to another machine to take a look at the SMART parameters, which still showed a 96% lifetime left, although it did show read errors after a captive self-test. an email to intel tech support indicated that a secure delete might bring it back to life, and indeed it did. after the secure delete, the drive was reformatted, and I now use it as storage for a couple VMs, and so far so good, although I'm careful not to have anything critical on it.
so no, not graceful. sudden and catastrophic. I'm wondering what a subsequent failure will look like, now that I have smartmontools keeping an eye on it.