Bruce's whole arc in TDK is practically through him being Batman, which gave Dent and even Gordon, more time to have an emotional arc. It worked brilliantly, of course.
I don't know, I just feel Nolan's priorities were not in check for TDKR, at least when it comes to "the people". Teasing the whole 99% vs 1% in the first act made it even worse. It's been said before, but even BB Gotham felt a lot more alive, when it came to the common folk.
Throw stones, but I'd rather Bruce die at the end, with no "Robin" John Blake character "rising", if it meant we'd get more of a Gotham voice, beyond the orphans.