Dual wielding is really bad in this game. Your weapons does not have separate swing timers.
1h Shield or 2h is the only way to go.
I think that they do.
If you open you inventory, and click Details below your character attributes.
Find your attack speed and start swinging you will see the number flick back and forth between the speeds of the two weapons.
Im level 44 i use dual wielding, and its true to say that you cop a hell of alot of damage, however up to level 50-55 you have multiple ways to heal yourself.
Mantra of healing - Allows for quick regeneration of health
Breath Of Heavens - with a certian rune you can heal yourself up to 6K health
Potions - These are always handy
Converts - Some weapons allow you to get health when using spirit.
Using these health recovery options it makes it difficult to die, however i think that in the higher levels you might find that change to block and armor rating will be better as you will have well more than 6K of life.