Oooo, a can of worms topic!
I’m not sure what the intent for the story was or why it lasted so long. I suppose he could have been sidelined in order for Bruce (and Wally?) to sink to the lows that they did during this period. However, those stories played out well before Dick’s memories returned.
My general thoughts and feelings (a recreation…):
At first, I thought Dick was going to lose his equilibrium. Some solicits and covers (ha, I know, I know) seemed to indicate that. The acrobat who can no longer stay balanced, do flips, stomach heights. The last Flying Grayson who couldn’t fly. I was intrigued by the idea - but that’s not what we got.
After I saw Ric and we lost Percy as the writer, I was disappointed. We were getting another amnesia story (Bruce had one not too long ago, and Aquaman was also getting one around this time). Also, Ric was a moody cab driver bent on pushing his old life away. Not what I wanted, but I figured it would only last an arc or two to feel the impact, then recover - but that’s not what we got either.
After the stand in Nightwings, I thought Ric still the cabbie, but slightly less angsty, would rediscover his own heroic nature as we see his different strengths split among the team but we didn’t really get that either.
Finally, we learn the Court of Owls is to blame! We can move forward and get Dick/Nightwing back - but, no, we don’t get that either. Instead, we get to repeat this whole storyline with a different villain! Never mind that it’s been nearly 2 years and this twice monthly series had to drop down to monthly a while back.
So. Finally (for real this time), Dick is back! Joker War is reaching its climax, and he’s back in blue, he’s kicking butt, he’s reconnecting (loved the Nightwing/Oracle banter!)… in Batman. His own series is a drag with a completely different tone that questions whether he wants to be Nightwing in a kind of mopey push everyone away again kind of way, so we didn’t really get him back back. 2 years for this. Gah.
No wonder Taylor’s Nightwing was so well received; he was actually, finally, Nightwing.