Sgt_Kickaxe - 2:37 am on Dec 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
410, no doubt about it. If the pages are gone that is the only message you want to send Google. If the pages happen to be in a directory you can use your GWT account and submit a removal request for the entire directory so that you are not causing search visitors to bounce but it's 100% up to Google to catch up with your pages at this point.
Welcome to WW.