One thing i see here is that everyone seems so tunnel visioned on alot of FFXI as if its going to relate over to or influence XIV 100%.
For example Sony made a very successful MMORPG on the PS2, EQOA. It had basic classes. Within each class you had 2 ways to apply your experience, you could apply anywhere from 1%-100% to class mastery or your leveling. Each player could use the mastery points to buy specialized abilites/spells and could have 4+ options per class to master in.
Each class listed had 4+ Master classes to chose frome, once you chose a master class it changes your TAG as it was called (when you looked at a player in game you saw there name,level,class or master class if they had one, and guild they belonged to) for exaple a cleric would have 4 options as a master class, once you chose a master clas you unlocked 2 master class abilities. Here is a link to see the avaliable master class and class mastery options http://www.teamjosh.com/eqoa/CM/
as i was using a cleric (healer) for example, you had general option (for all players), class spell/ability options, archtype option (for all healer classes) and racial abilities.
a cleric could pick one of the 2 master classes for a cleric, exorcist or faithful.
if you were an elf you could master class via race in the case of elf it was immortal.
or you could master class in archtype as diviner
each had its own diversity and benifits. and you had a minimum of 4 options per class some classes had more.
Now I am not saying that alot of this will apply to FFXIV, but it may bave some ideaologies or concepts that laterally apply or mesh with the FFXI ideas as well as some ideas they may or may not take from other successful MMORPGS to apply what they feel are good ideas to be refined and apply what they do or do not want to FFXIV.
I am not saying i have any expectations or assumptions, i am simply saying that everyone appears to be making alot of assumptions with references to FFXI as absolutes, and i am personally would like to think with the time/money/expectations comming out of this game, that they may have tried to use some good ideas through out the genre and not just FFXI.