Not sure about shapeshifting. I played a druid as my main in wow and have experience with just about every role. I loved the shapeshifting aspect myself. We may or may not see something similar in Rift. Could be something that they add in a content patch or x-pac.
I do know the druid is a playable soul. I do know the druid has at least one pet. You can see a picture of a harpie looking creature following a druid in a picture on the rift official website. The druid soul does have pets. How many and what their benefits are is beyond me at this point.