Well, as you say... The game does nvolve ALOT of backtracking... Get an item... go to the person, go back to another place... get item.. go back to same person.
But as with all Zelda games, there is puzzles, some you have to think really hard about... Which makes the game more challenging... in a different way though!
and yes he can walk, altough he is a lazy ass, so he also gets teleported eveywhere :P
The camera angles you see you cannot change (Except to shift it to 'links' line of sight with "Z")