Don't get me wrong, I loved FFXI, and I am most definitely going to play FFXIV, but I always thought the races in FFXI were lackluster. Especially the Elvaan, which always felt awkward to me, and more resembling Tolkien or DnD than Final Fantasy.
I wish that Square-Enix had chosen to use the Ivalice races instead of the FFXI races.
I think most people would agree:
Viera > Mithra
Playable Moogles > TaruTaru
But with the other two major races? Heck, I'd play a Nu Mou in a heartbeat, if it was using the cuter design from the Tactics Advanced Games, as opposed to the more wrinkly squat-ish interpretation in FFXII. And try to tell me the Bangaas from FFXII didn't look incredibly awesome. I was rather disappointed that a Bangaa never joined my party in that game.
And that's not saying that they would have to use the main five Ivalice races. Several of the other races also had potential... Seeq and Garif had immense potential. The Gria, Aegyl, Rev, or Revgaji also would have been feasible, though I could see Gria and Aegyl not being usable as a player race due to being a flying race, and I'd understand taht.
Compare Nu Mous and Bangaas to Elvaan and Galka.
Compare Viera to Mithra
Compare Moogles to TaruTaru
... Surely I'm not the only one disappointed in decision to reuse the FFXI races.