Yes, because MMOs are meant to be played Solo...
Socialize, meet people with the random group finder, join a guild. You will likely meet 20 ******s for every 1 decent person but thats the same for real life.
No. I just geared up me and my companion. Now I solo whatever I can. The few that I cannot I join groupfinder for. If i can ever use more than one companion I would be happy. It is more fun controlling more two toons as opposed to one.
P.S. People come and go in MMOs, BIOWARE companions are with you forever.