I think it's a fair assessment but usually "pre-reviews" are pretty devoid of judgement.
When FFXI came out I was surprised when Gamespot gave it an 8.2. As the interface, and control system, plus the lack of handholding, I believed at the time, was a dealbreaker for many.
In some ways FFXIV continues that tradition. IT is better in some instances but in others FFXI is better. I think that reviewers will see the discrepancy in the two and ultimately ask, "Why didn't they keep and improve upon things like the party invite system, search functions, AH, etc.... systems?"
I DO NOT see reviewers excusing these sorts of things. If something is different and it works then it will be excused, if something is different and turns out just to be a timesink or just flat out doesn't work, it will be called out on.
In the end though, MMOs are tough to review. You have to contend with being objective, but also playing a game you may not like for a long time to gain a fair judgement. Plus versus the fanbase the reviewer WILL get things wrong, and that's just due to a lack of interest or depth the reviewer can possibly take.
I see it getting an average B/B-, 75-80, type of score. Pretty smooth launch, a bit more handholding than FFXI, great presentation (music/graphics/story), cool job system. On the other hand, questionable UI, questionable omissions (no AH, lack of seek for party, etc.) especially when compared to other current MMOs.
But as with MMOs some of these things if improved on, could make or break the game, and only time will tell.