I have about 207 and soon to be more defense with shield buff as a tank with about 4k hp as knight right now. I have to say, most things at this point outside dungeons won't lower your hp at all. Lifesteal 10-20 hp is negligible for the big stuff in instances. Baphomet Elite and vvvs orc commanders and such will be hitting you for 300-900 even with high defense and magic defense. What I'm saying is unless you're soloing easy mobs outside the dungeons, don't get caught up on stacking life steal thinking it will suffice for a bonus to small potions vs the big stuff. It's marginal recovery when your healer is healing you for 700-1000 hp a heal and your taking that much a hit almost from the bosses.
If you get armor and gear good enough to boost up your defense to around 150, most things outside the dungeons for normal grind won't dip your hp at all past your passive regens. With the exception of a few like mukas with their magic attacks now and then.
There are hp absorb weapons that are way better than any others. For tanking instances, bosses, or whatever, hp absorb is awesome, even if 10 hp is nothing compared to a 1k hit.
We have a high hp pool, we won't get 1 shot, so any extra hp we can recover will help us staying alive. Plus it makes leveling way easier and more profitable.
I have about 4k hp, 150 def, and i still don't see a reason to discard my 2% hp absorb weap for more damage.
ps.: double post D: dunno how to delete this.