Just an idea from something Terasiel said.
As we all know Ichigo got his ass kicked after cutting off Yami's arm (10th espada) Yoruichi OWNS the shit out of Yami and Urahara successfully defends against one of his strongest attacks. Ulquiorra (4th espada) is present but inactive. He intervenes to save Yami's life and intermittently notices who they are fighting are levels far and above their own. So basically its undeniable that Urahara + Yoruichi > Ulquiorra + Yami. Now im curious because I dont want to go on a fanboyish rant and say that Yoruichi is stronger than Ulquiorra. But i cant deny that her AND Urahara together are. If Ichigo is currently losing to Ulquiorra, then its simple to say that Ichigo is weaker than either Yoruichi or Urahara. Now i could throw in the monkey wrench and say that Ulquiorra was talking about him and Yami vs Ichigo Kisuke and Yoruichi but id rather not. Im trying to analyze this battle because it would appear that Soi Fong is probably as strong as or near to the strength of Ulquiorra.... which is a stretch but im including it because its one of the first things that came to mind. Now I cant help thinking that if ONE of the SS captains or Yoruichi came with them (assuming Kisuke is doing whatever it is Kisuke does) this excursion into HM would be much more ... winnable. I dont think Yoruichi's strength has changed since her fight against Soi Fong, and Ichigo imho, despite his training actually seems weaker. Now before you bite my head off for saying that, Consider his power when he fought Byakuya (The last fight he won w/o his mask) and his use of his hollow form then (which although uncontrolled was most likely stronger than him using his mask) and consider what he did to Yami, then what Yoruichi did to Yami. Now consider that that same hollow form, when it fought Dordonnii (who i think was more than likely weaker than Yami since he's no longer an espada). It doesn't add up unless you make Ichigo weaker. Back to Yoruichi - lets not give her the benefit of the doubt and say she is (of course) stronger than Ichigo w/ his mask, but obviously (using Masked Ichigo to set the bar) a tiny bit weaker than Ulquiorra. Shes also, according to the same logic, much stronger than Grimmjow, which makes Masked Ichigo even MORE weak in my eyes . It makes you think, where does everyone stand? Are the Espada really as overpowered as we think they are. Mind you they're all (excluding the dead Arroniirro) Adjuca-Arancarr. I think my point is that this manga just made a bit more sense. KT isnt making overpowered characters because according to my logic most of the experienced SS captains should have no real problem taking out any of the current Espada. Everyone stronger than say... Byakuya and Soi Fong should be able to defeat them or at least pose a very steep challenge. Factoring in personal quirks like Kenpachi's natural resistance to damage and pain and its even more apparent that the Espada and our heroes arent very strong in comparison to the other characters in the manga.
shit my class period ended so ill have to continue this later... maybe change it from something other than a wall of text XD