I'm playing as a chaotic neutral bard who predominantly hangs out with evil chaps. My current party is Dorn, Neera, Viconia, Shar-Teel, and Imoen. The first three I want to definitely keep, but Shar-Teel is certainly replaceable (being not that interesting) and Imoen just doesn't fit with the overall party alignment (I really don't want anyone above True Neutral).
I've looked at my options, and frankly Kagain is an even more boring character than Shar-Teel and is really the only evil "fighter" replacement, for a thief, Safana is my best bet, but she generally seems underwhelming.
I've always played the game with a fairly balanced party usually containing a couple of melee fighters, a spellcaster, a cleric mostly for healing and light melee, and a thief/ranged fighter. In this playthru however I'm looking at possibly unbalancing things a bit, maybe recruit Edwin and Baeloth, but then I'd have a 3 mage party with only 1 true front-line fighter and no thief (though I'm mostly only concerned about that for detect traps which I could supplement spell-wise).
Anyway, long-story short I'm curious how many people have played through lacking a specific role in their party (such as a melee fighter, mage, or thief) and how much more difficult did it make the game? I'm sure it's doable, but I'd like to hear a bit more about other people's experiences and what kind of extra challenges to expect?