I agree with the school of thought that a game heavily focused on crafting needs an AH system or a well implemented bazaar search. There are plenty of topics about that, but the main point here is that crafting most certainly IS given a big focus in XIV. The disciplines are given specific attention by being their own classes, there are guildleves, etc.
Which leads me to this... is that what Final Fantasy is about anyway? Sitting around and making items??? I'm starting to think one of the fundamental flaws in the game is that crafting just isn't very fun, and it has been given quite a prominent role. I've played XI for 6+ years, I understand that there will always be some people who get some joy out of dealing with MMO economies and buying/selling stuff, whatever floats their boat is fine with me. But now XIV seems VERY crafting-heavy to the point where it's not just the domain of the people who really like it. Instead, it feels like it's really important for the average player to craft (so the obvious "just don't craft!" response doesn't address this flaw).
Lack of equipment and the ability to find it is one big issue, are we really intended to make it ourselves or deal with shady sellers without the natural market regulation that comes from a visible trading house? Or do all my friends have to specialize in different crafts with their game time to help each other out, instead of actually, ya know, doing something FUN?
And crafting in XIV is just the same boring and time consuming mini-game, ad infinitum. I don't pay $13 a month to sit and do a boring mini-game that's worse than garbage flash games. I want ADVENTURE dammit. Without a viable AH I sure as **** won't be able to just pay attention to the AH and grab appropriate gear with my non-crafting ways, like I did in FFXI. I'll be stuck either with woefully outdated gear, or spending all of my game time in retainer **** trying to find stuff to buy.
Some things like the skillup "exploit", "That target is already engaged" bug, and others seem like growing pains of a new MMO that will get ironed out. But the question of whether crafting is a fun way to spend my time in a game that seems to insist on crafting's importance is a much more fundamental issue that makes me very wary. Instituting an AH would go a long way to help, as it would allow me to ignore boring crafting and just buy my stuff. But this is still a pretty fundamental question of what this game is actually about and whether I like what it's about.