I am playing a druid currently and I have a Roc for my animal companion. I am level 6 and don't find myself feeling like a lesser character in anyway. My animal companion is the tankiest one in the group often having an AC of 28 and that is only with Barkskin and no other defensive buffs. My druid uses produce flame and flameblade to devastating effect. Touch AC attacks all day long. When I wildshape I out damage everyone but our barbarian but that is all he can do. While I do like most of a druid's spells, I do concede that compared to a cleric or a wizard their spells tend to be not as good.
Are you sure you aren't actually a necromancer instead of a druid? Seeing as how the majority of this thread is from 2009 (with 2 posts in 2013) that is some mighty powerful necromantic magics being thrown around.