There are also new healing elixirs, avalable from collectible turn ins. Those will require a lot of collectible farming though. They are better than the healing potions. They also have a fairly long cooldown on them.
There have been lots of threads about this. The way to look at it is, they need to make money somehow. The store potions were introduced as an extra. There have never been better than cure serious available in game.
The hirelings actually do work pretty well, once you know their limitations, and how to work with them. Also, they are not all the same quality or personality.