Congrats to you Bill on a beautiful fish. I have no doubt that you and everyone involved did everything possible to save this fish. Don't think I would of done anything different.
I was lucky enough to land a 20 lb Brown earlier this year. Had 2 of my favorite fishing partners with me. 2 of my sons. Only thing that would of been better was if my wife and other son were on the spot when I caught it(they were back at the cabin). Everyone has different opinions. The 3 of us didn't completely agree on how to handle the fish once netted but all had the same goal in mind. A healthy release. And it was accomplished. The 3 of us will rember that fish adventure the rest of our lives. Don't worry about the negative Nellies out there living like Alice in Wonderland on the internet.
I'm sorry you're sad you caught it but one day maybe you'll be glad. Karma is a wonderful thing and from the accounts above by many people that do know you, you deserve it.