For me, The Dark Knight is one of my favourite films of all time. It has a great story which unfolds in chapters over the course of the film, and builds upon its strengths as it progresses, with really great characterisation, and some epic set pieces. So it was always going to be hard for The Dark Knight Rises to top its predecessor. I don't think it managed it, but it still holds its own, it stands as a great film, and is a great way to close off Nolan's trilogy.
I think the strengths of the film are the way it draws you into the story, and makes you think about the motivations of its characters. It's always a challenge when there are so many principal characters (Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox, and new characters Miranda Tate, Selina Kyle, Bane, John Blake), but I think they did well to make each character seem real. I was a little disappointed to see so little of Alfred and Lucius, but it's almost inevitable when the film and cast are ambitious as they are.
I've heard a few people comment on the character of Selina Kyle. I noted that no where in the film is she referred to as Cat Woman. She is described as a cat burglar, but she's not a "superhero", she's a cat burglar with a distinctive outfit. It might be a departure from conventional interpretations which see her transform into some kind of cat-based superhero, but I quite liked the fact that all of the heros and villains in Nolan's trilogy are very human. Batman isn't injected with a mysterious substance to make him strong or powerful, he just works out, uses his financial resources to build the gadgets he needs, and uses his brains. Bane, Joker, and Scarecrow aren't mutants or weird creatures - they are humans with human frailties and ambitions. So I liked that Anne Hathaway played Selina Kyle, rather than Cat Woman - it was consistent with the rest of the trilogy's approach, and it made her character a bit more believable.
Without giving away spoilers, the ending of the film was a pretty good way to close off the trilogy. It provides closure for the main characters, and allows Nolan to walk away having directed (and co-written) a complete story arc that is complementary (as far as I know) to the existing mythologies, whilst leaving the door open for a future director to craft their own story in his universe, with a new set of actors if necessary. I feel very happy and satisfied with the trilogy, and can't wait for it to come out on blu ray so I can watch it again.