I think life fountains really should not just heal you, but your companions as well. After fighting Darkmoor ships, my chicken ranger Jake Thornton died and it said 30 mins for him to recover. 30 minutes! Some higher level companions might even take longer. Basically, I think that life fountains should give life to companions as well.
They used to and then the Advanced Pirate Update was made. My suggestion is to learn healing spells from the Privateer Trainer (The Commodore) and use them to keep your Companions from needing Bed Rest. My Bonnie Anne (Level 64) needs almost 7 hours to heal when she gets defeated. I will probably give her the Scrapper Talent soon (when the next world update gets here).
I feel your pain on this. I don't like this feature it takes some of the fun out of the game. I heard it's to make the game seem more realistic but I thought we played games to escape from reality. I used to like the strategy aspect of the game I would do dungeons and bosses over and over using different tactics. Now with the healing time it's just not worth it. Of course you can pay a large sum of gold to return them to duty but hmm what if you were saving for that new ship. With new worlds coming out soon(I Hope) we will need our gold to get the new ships and gear that come with the new worlds. Hmm hope no one dies. Poor Moo we will all be doing the tower again just to get gold for these new items or to resuscitate our companions