When you put points in the armor, you not only gain more armor, you also gain damage reduction. I fail to see how its "useless". I take significantly less damage in game when my armor skills have had points alloted to them.
Unless im just missing something in your posts. Still seems like a subjective choice on where to put skills.
Ive tried the high dex/dodge way and i didnt really see that it was more effective, just less weight to carry.
Points in armor gets you more damage reduction, but not more AR. Damage reduction is a deceptive name, though - it's a percent chance to take half damage from an attack. It's not completely useless, but it's a big waste of points to get to a useful level.