I'm with you on the defaults.
Far as far as Illusions go;
These games are all about illusions, so it's a bit hard to use that term derogatorily. At the end of the day, your barely going to notice if your character is 5'2" as opposed to 5'1", but people have taken well to the idea of that kind of control and seem to expect it. If it was a massive asset undertaking I would have a different stance. But generally when somebody includes sliders it's just programmatic interpolation of the minimum and maximum extremes they've already created. (aion, totally not one of these). Because of that there's nothing inherent to the function that would require them breaking their aesthetic.
I'm more concerned with color selection and hair styles. Because unlike sliders this isn't illusion territory. Your camera is often situated behind you, so your hair and colors are largely how you differentiate your character from others.
For a beta? 16 skintones? 8 colors and 3 variations each for hair? Not bad. Actually I'd even be fine with 16 skintones for a finished product, because they do cover (most of) the cultural bases existent in reality.*
The limited palette of largely natural hair color selections is a harder thing to sell. While we can be downright racist about skintone, technicolor hair and eyes is something we apply pretty liberally in a Fantasy setting. It doesn't have to be cartoonishly saturated, there are literally millions of desaturated colors to choose from. But lacking a variety of exotic options comes off a bit genre dissonant.
Hairstyles is where I'm the least forgiving. For a Beta? ****, 8 hairstyles is great. For a finished AAA title past 2005? Hair style is too visible on a day to day basis to be taken so lassiez-faire. That would have been 'keeping pace' in XI. In their next title almost 7 years later? That's not even bad, that's just shameful.
*This is assuming each Tribe has their own set of 16. And that all the the reds, yellows, and browns are on the Sunseekers. The character creation and Miqote sections of the official site tend to give that general impression. I think between the tribes each race will have an appreciably full selection of skintones. Edited, Jun 15th 2010 1:28am by Zemzelette