With last night's two-part episode "The Final Page," 'How I Met Your Mother' closed out its 2012 run, leaving the series at an important crossroads. We've been hearing for months now that rumors of a ninth season were possible if CBS managed to sign the cast and crew for an additional year, but with a decision imminent in the next month, what's standing in the way of locking things down? Are the actors unwilling to return?

Whether you love 'How I Met Your Mother' enough to give it a fitting end this May, or love it so much you can't bear to let it go before a ninth season, an announcement from series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas is imminent. Following last night's heart-warming finale, both creators have done a great deal of press answering questions about a potential ninth season, and how they've crafted a story for either case.

In particular, TVLine elicited some rather specific details about the cast and crew negotiations for a ninth season, Carter Bays explaining how more than the actors' decisions (including Jason Segel's purported reluctance) are influencing the decision:

It’s something that we’re all kind of deciding together. Some of it has to do with money, but a lot of it also has to do with the schedule. We want to make sure that our actors continue to be able to do all the fun,extracurricular stuff that they do. They all have really big careers outside of our show, and we respect that and want to make sure that we’re able to make a good product and that they’re still able to do all the things they want to do. More than anything, it’s that. It’s just figuring out if and how we can do another year. That’s the question.

Beyond that, Bays specified that he and fellow executive producer Craig Thomas would prefer to craft a full, 24-episode season 9 rather than the shortened half-season compromise that some have suggested as a possibility.

What say you, though? Do you think 'How I Met Your Mother' would benefit from a ninth season, or has it come too close to the end to continue? Tell us what you'd like to see happen in the comments!