"The Sahaba learnt ten verses of the Qur'an from the Prophet(saw) at a time. They would not take the next lesson until they had mastered the knowledge and acted upon those ten verses."
-Abu Abdur Rahman (ra)
When the Prophet(saw) died, Hazrat 'Umar (ra) almost lost it. He was bewildered and threatened to kill anyone who said that Muhammad(saw) had died. Hazrats 'Uthman and Ali (radhiyalloanhum) were, literally, speechless. They were as if in a daze. Only Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) maintained his composure and addressed the people so they could move on and get to work. He also was the one to manage the affairs of the Prophet(saw)'s burial and inheritance, etc. as the rest of the Sahaba weren't sure whether to bury him at Mecca, Medina, or Jerusalem and he cited a little known Hadith where the Prophet(saw) said prophets are buried at the place they die. Being the Prophet(saw)'s closest companion, he was also privy to a few more Hadiths that settled things after his death.
Respect for the Sahaba (from 'Shifa' by Qaadhi Iyaadh)
If we claim to revere and honour the Prophet(saw), we must also respect his Sahaba. As Muslims, it is incumbent on us to appreciate what we owe to them, to follow them and to ask forgiveness of Allah for them. No doubt they had their differences, but we have no right to comment on them. We must beware of the stories forged by Shi'as, innovaters, or biased historians, whose mischievous motive is to slander some of the Sahaba and slight the others. We must never doubt the sincerity and honesty of Sahaba. When we come across any event in history which appears likely to lower their status in our eyes, we must explain it as far as we can in their favour and attribute it to sincere motives, for they really deserve this line of action. We must always speak of their virtues and must hold our tongue in uttering anything likely to slight them. The Prophet(saw) himself has said, "Observe silence in respect of my Sahaba (when they are mentioned with disrespect)."
The following verses of the Qur'an speak highly of the Sahaba: (XLVIII:29), (XLVIII:18-19), (XXXIII:23), (IX:100).