I'm pretty much in agreement with everything F3rth is saying. I don't know if I'd necessarily call an AH "easy mode", and I can certainly see why people are clamoring for the tried-and-true method, but it's kind of a knee-jerk reaction to the current system being such a failure. While the retainer system leaves a lot to be desired, it's not as game-breakingly eye-gougingly horrible as some people are describing. It needs improvements, moreso than people might think possible by SE, but that doesn't automatically mean we need an auction house.
An AH brings its own host of problems to the table, and while it would be nice and easy from a player's perspective, there's a lot going on that I'd rather see avoided. It's not like XI didn't have bazaars and the Rolanberry Mall and all that, those worked just fine and a lot of people honestly had fun browsing around during their travels just to see if there was anything special for sale. SE simply misjudged why it worked, implemented it poorly, and didn't really give us any alternatives or a chance to see our voiced concerns taken seriously.
We were plenty forgiving of the system during beta because we knew it was a beta, and had assumed it would be addressed by retail; it wasn't, and that has left a bitter taste in our mouths. However, just because SE has dropped the ball in terms of timing and releasing an unfinished product to the masses, that doesn't mean they aren't going to adjust the system or listen to our feedback. Too many people fling around "SE never listens to its customers," and then if anyone says anything otherwise the instant reaction is "You're just a white-knighting SE fanboy!" No, we're not. SE would not be a successful company if they ignored us. Many changes people have clamored for in XI are implemented in XIV. A lot of things aren't, but that doesn't mean SE is just doing what it wants without any regard to what we're saying whatsoever. XIV has showcased plenty of changes throughout the alpha and beta phases which are direct responses to tester feedback, and while there's still much left to work on, naysayers are crying doomsday because the devs simply aren't capable of delivering instant satisfaction for everything that needs to be addressed.
Sure, they're releasing patches and fixing very small issues right now, leading some people to think they aren't working on the big problems at all, but don't you think the big problems would naturally take longer to solve? If they didn't release these small patches, people would whine that SE isn't working fast enough and isn't keeping in touch with their customers and blah blah blah. Of course they're listening to what we're saying, they couldn't honestly expect to make money if they didn't. In every single interview about FFXIV, Tanaka and the devs have constantly said that they made such and such decisions because fans asked for such and such. And if we don't get an AH, that's not because SE isn't listening to its customers; they did not intend to have an AH because they had a different system in mind. It simply didn't work out, and some poor marketing decisions were made. Our job is to tell them that the system isn't satisfactory, and they will react appropriately. End of story.