I'm fine with this. Actually it lifts my anticipation for this film. It's an element taken right from the comics. I would dispute Bane being just a lackey or goon thug though. Bane will obviously be the muscle side of the equation but I expect Nolan to showcase Bane as the intellectual he has been shown before in the comics.
Neeson has said he wouldn't be back, that question was posed somewhere as he was making publicity rounds for Unknown
. Heck it may be a few pages back in this very thread. Still, the offer may just not have been made yet or he was playing coy.
Would I still like to have had Black Mask, Riddler or Croc...yes. However I feel we are going to get a much more source accurate Bane finally AND in Talia(if it does happen) a member from his rogues gallery who hasn't had screen time.