In regards to bear aoe pickups, it's purely a matter of preparation. If CC is pulling, you must give the bear time to enrage to get some startingrage before pulling, or he'll be unable to swipe/thrash to gather up the mobs. I've found, in randoms, these are the only situations were I have trouble - early pulls where I have no rage, dps hitting different targets/aoeing, and stuns lessening my early fight rage generation (those aren't a problem *unless* I'm already rage starved). Swipe takes a good chunk of rage, thrash even more.
So, have a bear tank? Watch him/her, CC pull when he's got rage. For gods sake, not when he's in caster form!