I started a character this weekend, and I've played for maybe 6 or 8 hours, and the game indeed is quite improved over beta (most noticeably the hardware cursor adds a lot, and the UI lag is largely gone, probably because of fewer server requests from other players, so it's finally playable). There seems to be more player interaction, and, perhaps because I'm in Ul-Dah instead of Gridania (where I spent most of my time in beta), I'm enjoying the early quests quite a bit.
I'm also playing it as a casual--just a few hours here and there. I'm in no rush to get any jobs up to 50. There seems to be quite a bit to do from that perspective.
However, for a game that appears so casual-friendly, it does seem to come with the caveat that you have friends who aren't casuals, who can explain game mechanics to you that aren't really documented anywhere and which make little sense. I don't have a linkshell yet, so I've just been utilizing various websites and the Lodestone to answer any questions that come up, but I'm still at a loss to understand what levelinking really is, how I can get any of my crafting attempts to be successful, what to do with my leves once I finish them.
From the perspective of a casual, the updates I've seen so far make perfect sense--"A Beginner's Guide..." pages are a good start (there's definitely a lot more good info than during beta), the addition of quests and quest markers means there's a lot more direction for casual players at the start (I remember being totally aimless during beta), and displaying mob levels means I'm not dying every few minutes and waiting 3 minutes to get my full stamina back. These additions really help make the game more playable for new players who don't benefit from a huge linkshell full of MMO veterans.
That said, there's ways to go. I'm a pretty patient player and I found some of the early leves to be extremely challenging (mostly because you're forced to fight 2-3 mobs at a time at your level before you've really mastered combat) and almost quit a few times in frustration. I'm not sure how many casual players will put up with dying 4-5 times on their second levequest--I suppose this is why the combat system is what's under review next.