I've read a few threads regarding pets and followers (especially about how mediocre they are). So far, the dogs still die pretty "fast" (that's with 1.6k armor etc.), but they're still (and will always be) worth it due to the meat-shield factor - and they aren't -that- bad.
I've also seen inputs on how terrible followers are, and I just gotta ask - are you trolling? The followers aren't intended for damage, but utility - and they're really good at that. I recently started using a templar (been co-oping so far) - gave him a shield, sword and two rings. Those items, made him end up on a whooping 25k health (vitality items), and that's just with sub-par items. Now, 25k health alone makes him really tough - add in his utility and you don't have to question if a follower is viable or not.
Can't wait till I hit 60 and start decking out both me and my templar, it'll be fun to see how strong my pets and followers will end up. WDs are awesome, and totally worth it!