I have a question on the summoned creature -- I tried one, but he died -- and after that, I couldn't summon him anymore. Is that it? If they die, they are gone and you have to go back and create a new one from scratch?

That seems REAL limiting, since I don't know of anyway to heal them, and it's hard enough to keep my heal spells 'cooled' off enough to keep myself healed, let alone to keep some flunky who can't heal/take care of himself healed up as well.

These summoned creatures can't be this worthless, so what am I missing?

Can I direct him to throw spells or does he operate at random? He didn't seem very amenable to suggestion, for such a high maintenance companion...