I've not read all 65 pages of comments here, so some of this might have been touched on elsewhere, but I'm not troubled by a small party size. It forces some creativity about who you use for which encounters, which in turn means you have to make better use of each character's available abilities. If I could run a party of six instead of four, I'd probably only make use of one or two abilities from each character 90% of the time. The smaller party forces me to make broader, better use of the available resources.
I disagree with the idea that origin companions are lame as a concept. They're the people you meet along the way, each with their own personality, agendas, etc. When every companion is home-rolled, that can be great for a specific playthrough concept you want to do, but since it's impossible to give a home-rolled companion a personality, dialog, etc, that aspect of the game vanishes. Sure, I'll eventually cook up a party tailor-made for a few specific difficult encounters at higher difficulty settings, but I absolutely want to get to know the stock companions, do their quests, see how they react to different choices, etc.
Also, could you imagine the howls of outrage if a AAA crpg *didn't* offer origin companions? It would be a sin on par with not having a rogue class, it's just too standard a concept to chuck away without an obviously-compelling reason.
I think the part people are complaining about isn't the concept of companions, it's Larian's specific inclusion of ORIGIN companions, which is their name for companions who you will also have the option of playing as a ready-made character, engaging with their storyline from a "first person" perspective rather than as an outside influencer. A lot of people are complaining-with some merit-that the fact all these companions need to work as playable main characters means that they get written in a way that's overbearing and overshadows a custom created player character, which is a whole other topic of contention on these forums.
Ha. You beat me to it, @Gray Ghost.
@colinl8 is conflating NPC companions with origin companions when the two concepts are not at all the same thing.
NO to origin companions. YES to (traditional) NPC companions.