I'm playing a mish mash of roles. Heavy armor but points into dest. and resto. Also use archery a lot. Started out using one handers a lot but now I switch to two handers when I need melee.
I beat him pretty easily the other day. I went back out, got more arrows, picked up the fireball spell and hired the mage follower in Riften. I hadn't unlocked the mage followers in Winterhold yet.
The problem I can see with a follower all the time is that it slows your level progression. You're not using your weapons or spells as often.
But it was definitely nice on a tougher boss fight to have help.
I agree that the side quests have been more satisfying than the main quest so far (killing your first dragon is awesome though). I finished the Companions chain first and that was awesome. Definitely some 'wow' moments. The mage chain was pretty cool too.
I'm part way through the Thieves quest line... what other side quests are a blast?
I haven't even visited all of the cities yet.