I only have a Priest with me right now but he puts all his stuff in wands, I love that MP-regen-shit
Haven´t missed a mage yet but I don´t know what he can do aside from normal elemental magic so I don´t know what I´m missing out on :D
I don´t see this "run-back-to-where-you-were-defeated" as real dying, it´s very relaxed I think. As you said, the bank is really useful there.
One question...is there a way to respec you mainchar later on? I mean what if I spent a lot of points in a useless skill or something like that?