Originally Posted by J0k3r
I think if Bruce ended with Rachel would be contradictory with she says on Begins to him, about "the man she loved never came back". And Rachel was convicted of her ideas as Bruce. I bought Bruce ending with Selina because despite the comics, where they can't be together because of activities, in Rises, both want to leave their lifes behind. Bruce talks about that since TDK. To me, makes complete sense in a universe where Bruce Wayne doesn't want to be (and can't be) Batman "forever" that Selina wants the same thing and both try to move on together after that.
And about the topic, I can't decide between Rachel and Selina. I think each one fits in some moment: Rachel, during all the years while Bruce believed he could return to be what he was before his parents death. He tries to do that until Rises, with the reactor and even returning to live in the mansion. That's why he still mourning Rachel, because he believed if she was alive they could be there. Selina fits when Bruce became to see the truth about Rachel and about his life. He'll never be like was before because of the consequences of the years as Batman in many ways. And being with someone else who needs to deal with your past and the consequences is a way to deal better too.
Yeah I think the saga ending with Bruce and Rachel together (had she survived) would have represented regression rather than progression. In the end Rachel did not represent love, she represented a fixation Bruce had with his past, with a lost childhood innocence that was simply never going to come back no matter how much he wanted it to. Or, as you said, he was infatuated with the ideas & ideals Rachel represented rather than loving her for the person she was. I believe Dent loved Rachel for who she was, and I think it was pretty obvious in the end that Rachel loved Dent and not Bruce because in her own heart Rachel had already moved on while Bruce hadn't.
Bruce being with Selina at the end better demonstrates that he's finally moved on and is in a better place mentally and emotionally than he had been in years and ever would have been if he'd ended up with Rachel.