There is currently still no monthly fee for playing. This has been answered before, so I'll address your other question.
Benchmark score doesn't really say anything about what you really have. There will always be someone who claims FFXIV runs fine for them, regardless of their PC. The question is, what kind of experience are you willing to put up with. An OEM PC with graphics built into the main board might get you in the game, but you'll have to run at a low resolution with all of the graphic effects turned off. A new computer with a decent video card will probably run the game at an acceptable level, you'll just need around $200 for a mid-range GPU. This is assuming this new computer is a recent mid range or better CPU and 4+ GB DDR3 RAM. From this point, upgrading components will continue to increase the quality of play. Here is my current PC that I build about 6 months ago for around $800, and it runs FFXIV smoothly at 1920x1080 with all the graphics options set around Standard:
AMD Phenom 955 (quad core) @ 3.20 GHz ($120)
GeForce GTX 460 ($180)
8 GB DDR3 RAM (Cheap generic stuff, around $100 worth)
Windows 7 64-bit ($100)
Case, Power Supply, Main board, 1 TB HDD, etc to pull it all together. A lot of this can be salvaged from an old PC (except the main board in most cases).
The point is, you don't need a top-of-the-line PC to run FFXIV, and if you have what you think is a top-shelf PC and it doesn't run FFXIV, you've put your money in the wrong places. All you really need is a decent GPU, a decent CPU and 4+ GB DDR3 RAM, in that order.