While the ammunition use by companions can be a hassle, limiting them to using their default weapons makes their already feeble contributions in a fight even more marginal. Maybe it was just pure fortune, but I always found I had a surplus of some type of ammunition for a companion to wield some sort of upscale weapon I was able to craft for them. If I recall correctly, for example, Hancock runs around with a short, double-barrel shotgun by default. At anything beyond point-blank range, that is the equivalent of throwing a handful of gravel at an adversary. With regard to settlement defense, I'd advise a bit of caution using turret rocket-launchers for defenses. The only time I managed to lose settlers to friendly fire was due to choosing to add a pair of rocket-launcher turrets to the defenses at Croup Manor. What a mess... I can't relate to Piper the way I'd imagine a male player might, but I think she is probably among the least annoying companions one can have. I'd imagine her seemingly double entendre responses when you're exchanging items with her would appeal to a male player. (They do make me smile.) Nick is a decent companion, too. Level-headed and no need to feel guilty about him trailing you through harsh environments that would take it's toll on most companions.