Just got the game recently. I stalked the forums a bit and fiddled around in act 1 to get the feel for the mechanics, but now I want to commit to a play-trough. I doubt I will be replaying the game any time soon after finishing it (no time, will probably take me months for one run), I really don't wanna find out half way trough that I messed up at the start. My plan is to use the story companions until I can do their quests and/or they become too weak to hold their own in fights (gonna start on PotD, no ironman), at which point I will replace them with self-created adventurers.
With that in mind, What class should I start out with to make the most use out of the bonuses the main char gets. From what I've read, the candidates that make the most sense are either
a) A paladin to take advantage of the defense bonuses you get from dialogue.
b) A cipher to take advantage of all the crit bonuses, stats and stealth/mechanics skill points you get from story talents.
Priests get a bonus from talking as well, but it doesn't seem to be anything special. Rogues and rangers can make use of damage and stealth bonuses, but they seem to be bad classes from what I've read. Also, there seems to be a companion paladin that is ok and has some special talents that you can't pick yourself (this is the only real issue I have with this game so far, the companions seem to be just worse versions of player-made characters with no unique abilities that make up for their ****ty builds, even their unique items can be used by anyone). What should I do? Am I overthinking this?