I really hope that they put more time into appearance this time around, and it would be nice to have some attention to detail (read: skin color, south paw). One thing that always depressed me about FFXI was that everyone does basically look like everyone else. No one's actual personality is reflected in their avatar.
Aside from that, I remember a thread over on the enemy forums (read: BG), where they were trying to track down some scammer or another (aren't they always?) and someone posted a pic of the guy on his main job, which was Black Mage.
Someone else saw it and posted, "You know that's the most ******* generic looking black mage ever lololo".
Makes you think.
I'm an order to chaos type of guy...letting everyone choose what their gear looks like just doesn't jive with me. If they simply had a wider variety of gear the problem you speak of would be solved.
It wouldn't be solved unless the gear had identical stats, because we all know how this playerbase is obsessed with epeen and stats. It makes more sense to have a wider variety of outerwear, and when I say outerwear I mean items that would go over the armor such as shirts and things.
Either that or allowing dye would be nice and allow for variety. I don't think that we will see a whole lot of bright pink top, orange pants unless someone is just being silly. Folks will choose colors that they like and that's a really good option to have. You shouldn't have to wear something that you don't like in a game just because that's all the developers could be bothered to implement (or someone thinks everyone should look alike.... That's a dangerous notion).