We've talked about the limits and benefits of totems before, but Shamans have pretty much agreed that, especially since totems are starting to see some shared usage with other classes' spells, they could really use a revamp in terms of base mechanics. The main issue is simply mobility -- totems are designed to be dropped and immobile, and that on its own starts them at a disadvantage when compared to buffs that are placed directly on players. There have been lots of ideas passed around about how to get out from under that limit -- a "relay" totem that could spread buffs around, a mobile totem attached to the Shaman him/herself, or just a kind of totem pet that could be directed by the Shaman as needed.
But Ghostcrawler just plain says no. In response to many issues with the totem mechanic, he chooses to focus on mobility, saying the fact that Shaman totems have limited range and must be placed in certain places is intrinsic to the way the class functions. He admits that totem mechanics are being examined (the main issue the OP has is totem health, and indeed, it may be tough for Shamans to keep both their totems and their mana up), but says that mobility is not a change they're planning for: totems are designed to be strategically placed once, and that's the way they'll stay.
Bad news? Not really -- when I played as a Shaman, and for most of the Shamans I know, the totem mechanic is something to be proud of. Sure it's a pain, but a physical manifestation of the spells and buffs we cast is unique to the class. The only issue will be whether Blizzard makes up for that disadvantage in some other way -- so far, it seems most totem-droppers would say they haven't.