I understand the anime needs extra episodes because it moves quicker than the manga, so it is fillers or a long wait period in between episodes... That said, fillers could have been handled better. Watching the episode this week, this is how all fillers should have been handled. They could have kept it within the manga storyline but amplified things. For example, in the chuunin exams arc, they could have shown kakashi and gai leading the jounins who didn't get put in the genjutsu against all the sand/sound jounin and really have made that into an epic fight. They could have made Asuma and Shikamaru vs the 9 chuunins into a real fight that lasted a couple episodes. They could have shown every single akatsuki vs jinchuuriki fight. they could have done a flashback episode of Jiraiya vs Orochimaru's fight when Orochimaru left the village during the three sannins arc. They could have made Deidara and Sasori stronger and make that into a real fight rather than have two strong akatsuki guys fodderized for no reason.