I agree 100% I've also never played a MMO with a companion so rules are fuzzy to say the least. Also now you can takes mods off items so what is the difference if the person only wanted the Armour for the mods and not the fact it was a heavy armor piece?
2, or 2.5 ("Anyone mind me Needing this for my companion"?)
I agree it's fuzzy - and you make an interesting point about taking modifications from stuff that you can't use directly - but it's equally obvious from the replies in threads like this that a substantial proportion of players are going to see Needing something for a companion as ninja looting (as another poster pointed out, with so many companions, you could use that to justify going need on just about everything - do it if you want, but don't be surprised if you get booted in pretty short order). The safe rule of thumb for this sort of thing always used to be, if you can't or aren't prepared to equip it right now, go greed.
This game almost needs, if you'll pardon the pun, a three-tier roll system: Need (immediate player upgrade), greed ("just going to vendor/reverse engineer it") and something between the two ("I could use it, but I'll take my chance").