I still think it is less than Brawl. My wish is 30-32 but i can see 26-28. They got a lot of character requests and I remember Omar saying later on in development characters are easier to make because you have a grasp on how to do it. Like in Diablo type games you make the warrior first, make all the other classes, and then make the warrior again and the character will be better. I'm really hoping it is 30-32. One thing I respect most about this game is that we have 20 characters and 19 IPs. Not trying to start a war with Brawl fans, and not denying the characters are amazing, but half of Brawl's roster is from 5 IPs.
You can only hope that theres a lot more characters we will find out about All they really have to do is give away one character that wasnt "leaked" and than say "oh yeah we have 5-6 more you guys dont know about" and the hype will go up again xD, its kind of really died down since the leak.
To add to this from a developer's standpoint (and I'm not a developer and I don't know how big files are compared to others). But I'm guessing that we have a couple of more stages left because I think they don't take up as much space as characters. They also must have known that the beta could possibly be hacked and you need a certain amount of data in the beta in order for it to work. I think they took out characters who they felt would be the best secrets to have for a later date. If someone knows more about the beta files than I do please elaborate for me. But in my mind out of the 8 leaked characters: Sackboy and Ratchet&Clank were shoe ins since they had levels already and they are iconic to playstation. The leaked picture of "Kat" was on an Ape Escape looking stage so they might have felt that was already strongly hinted at so left Spike on the file. Nariko was a launch title for PS3 and she seemed like a shoe-in as well. Dante was a strong possibility but him and Raiden I wouldn't have guessed. Sir Dan was actually one of my first characters I wrote down saying he will be in the game and glad i saw him on the leak. Evil Cole I ruled out completely. So I feel that they took out characters that were the bigger surprises than these guys in accordance to leaks and the obvious factor.
Infected nathan hale