Following up on my own post, what I've found is that if you want to do Ranger, you have
to go Druidic.
The mistake I made the first couple of times I played Ranger is that I went with Agnostic
, and with Agnostic, HP regeneration is just too darn slow.
Elsol's points also really help - more than Endurance, Dexterity (and Bow (and also sword) skill level) are both really important. (Endurance helps, but it proves to be less crucial with a Druidic Ranger...)
Ranger also becomes a lot more manageable when you get an Amulet of Accuracy. (I love someone's idea for the +6 "Amulet of The Hunter" for Book II!
Finally, the spells that really do help Rangers are Predator Sight and Bless (I also use Cat's Eyes a lot, because it's an easy spell to find, and using it you don't need torches), but I didn't add Divination and Elemental until I bought them in Blackwater. Later on, Air Shield is nice (esp. in Vela!), and you'll need Compress Atmosphere to go up against poltergeists.
What I think you need to start with for Rangers is Armor (light first, heavy later), Swords (you need this upfront - you can't wait until Blackwater!), Hide in Shadows and Move Silently, with Pick Locks being advisable, and Spot Hidden (or possibly Skulduggery) being good choices too.
Anyway, all I know is that now that I'm playing a Drudic Ranger (with the above starting stats), it became a whole lot easier. (Just forget about trying to play Agnostic!)
I should finish up the current game with a pretty sweet Ranger character!