Hmmmm, is it just a coincidence that Afro-san isn't doing his job and a new substitute shinigami appears?
I am disappointed that there wasn't any explanation/back story on Isshin yet. I hope it comes soon.
I'm not reading into facial similarity so much–it could play a part (I dread the possibility that Ichigo was designed/destined to be the perfect being)– but I'm irked at the obvious parallel to Ishida's power sacrifice in Soul Society. This won't survive as a shonen manga if the main-character is a regular human surrounded by super-powered people, so it's bound to follow a similar tack to all the other instances of sacrificing life or powers. It would gain points in my book if he just had some permanent disability instead of the obvious return to deus ex machina powers.
That said, the plot holes are too abundant: Orihime couldn't reverse time on Ichigo, so he could keep his powers? Urahara has NO ideas? Ishiin, after apparently doing something very very similar, hasn't said something that would merit mention in the intro?
I'm a naturally critical person, but I keep reading for the author's premises, if not his often poor realization of them.
You need to consider exactly what Ichigo is talking about. He is happy without his powers and living a normal life. Though he obviously misses it and the shinigami. If the possibility were there. He doesn't want it.