Companions NEED to be geared, especially for higher levels. I will continue to roll need on gear for companions.
And I will continue to enable Master Looter. Anyone who rolls NEED for a Companion over an actual player who can use it, get kicked automatically. Doing so is the most selfish thing you can do and I for one have no qualms telling people who do. I lost out on 2 pieces of BH gear for my Powertech because, some idiot decided his Companion needed more than I did.
No virtual character should come before the needs of an actual player character.