"Up until now" pretty much sums it up. And the fact that Lucas has Ness's side b, up b, down b and his neutral b is close to pk thunder it just freezes them. And Sakurai said that no clones. And I doubt that a newcomer would get a veteran's moves with the veteran having different moves.
They don't have the same moves. They are similar as previous smash bros counterparts. Ness cannot be replaced. Look at Gannondorf/Captain Falcon...Falco/Fox...I don't see it happening in brawl. Ness is in...Ness is too cool for Nintendo to leave him out, and too recognizable from previous smash bros.
That's what SSBB is now having COSTUMES for characters, I mean it would be another clone if He was in, people are wanting this, But like i said That's what the new Costumes are for x-x.. and Lucas looks cooler anyways XD
The DOJO makes it very clear that Ness is no longer in smash. However, I have seen fans so disgruntled by this that they actually questioned the English translation and started viewing the site's other languages for clarification. It is quite apparent at this point, though. Ness is not coming back.