Acceptance With Displeasure. It's possible that your boss won't take immediate action like the reaction above__but will make it clear that he or she isn't exactly happy about your resignation. Maybe, for example, she'll mutter a curt, "Thank you for letting me know," followed by two weeks of obvious displeasure or denial that you're leaving__through gruff comments ("You know, you're really leaving us in the lurch") or a refusal to interact with you more than absolutely necessary.
And sure, this could be an email (all of the same principles would apply), but a letter makes things official in every sense. It also gives you a prop to take along to the face_to_face meeting with your boss, when you let him or her know that you're leaving.