I don't get why the portraits have to be right next to the action bars? Don't we all use numbers to select party members?
Everyone has a wide screen nowadays, so use the extra space at sides for large portraits and put the action bars horizontally lower, as in the old games, it worked great, so why fix it?
On the current layout the shiny action icons next to the small portraits won't work, since in combat most of the time it's pause-look at health bars-select action. And by having the shiny health/mana bars next to the shiny action bars you just create unnecessary adjustment time for the eyes.
The buffs are barely visible too, and that would also get fixed by having large portraits at the side.