All I can say is learn to micro them or give them single shot weapons. I doubt most of your suggested changes will happen.
Try regrouping immediately when spawning in an encounter, if you get shot, stop all actions and regroup again and tell them to attack when they're not in each others way. Best way is to try forming a triangle with with your companions facing the enemies.
I used to play with companions a lot. I was a pioneer when it came to using them in PvP, oh man I miss how my gatling companions hexed a player around a corner xD....before everyone started the new meta with 3x Rocket companions and slave swarms :/