The people who you were talking to on 360 may have been a part of the 360 beta for FFXI. That was a bit different, as the game was already completed, they were just porting it to a new platform. When that happened, yes, they could keep their characters. But that's really only because the PC and PS2 users already had a hedstart.
This is true. I already had been playing quite some time on PS2, was a level 60 at the time, so there was no reason to keep the beta character anyhow. But they did offer that. Again, that's only because the game had been out for several years.
Allowing beta characters to be transferred to real servers post-beta would be completely unfair. They already will have an extreme leg up because of knowledge of mobs, areas, disciplines and their abilities, and most of all crafting.
Imagine knowing before everyone the best farming spots and most profitable/useful crafts? Wow.
FFXI: Nyse - PLD, DNC, DRG
FFXIV: Nyse Celestre - Working on PLD
Ridill Server...for now.