Pets is something WoW actually did more or less right, and Anet should take a look at how they function in this game. AoE avoidance and uptime tools like Dive/Dash in addition to movement speed would really help minion/pet builds not be so gimped. If they move at the same speed that players do, they'll never have serious uptime. They're also really, really fragile.
The way I see it, pets are really hard to balance. I agree that WoW got it pretty close to right, specifically with "pet classes" such as MM hunters. A hunter's pet isn't its main source of damage, but the utility it provides means that a dead pet is a bad thing.
The thing is, I get the sense that a lot of players who play these pet classes want to hit the "pet, attack this target" button and then watch the target die as the pet does most of the damage. That's horrible design for both sides: either the target feels helpless because all the ranger did was sick his pet on you and now you're at 50% health and can't get the pet off of you without letting the ranger wreck your face, or the other side of the coin where the pet is so important that the ranger feels gimped if his pet dies.
I think having a pet do high damage is a really bad design idea. Pets should provide utility spells, and that's it.
The same problem exists with MM necromancers, who spec into 50 different pets and then cry when they die. Of course they have a point that the pets are too easily killed, but they expect to run a zookeeper set up and simply win by hitting the petattack command. It sucks for everyone.