Oh I agree, if
there are other options available to take with you. It shouldn't be a choice of playing Lone Wolf style or
deal with a party of bickering, is my point, but if there are a few "less savory" options to take with you that aren't also the only
options to take with you, I'm fine with that.
This is it exactly. Nobody would complain about these companions if we had a very wide range of companion options available, both in number and in range of personality. Yes I know they are supposed to add a few more eventually, but even keeping that in mind I can't see myself coming up with enough companions I like to fill out my preferred party, which is a party of companions that are both good-aligned and likeable.
OP, very nice write-ups, but I strongly disagree with just about everything you claim. None of these five companions are well written, imo, and I would not want any of them in my party.
@Bossk_Hogg, Durance was easily my most hated companion in PoE. Everything you liked about him are precisely the things I hated and do not see as some sort of virtue in an RPG companion that makes them "interesting."
Oh, and just to be clear, playing the game with empty-suit mercenaries is absolutely out of the question.