The problem with the benchmark is that it doesn't reflect the graphical options the game actually provides. You only get "high" or "low" settings. Performance in-game is spotty anyway though, but for different reasons. If you're by yourself in the field the framerate might be acceptable (30+ fps) but around a crowd of people/NPCs it will quickly drop. Too many models/textures + poor engine optimization = sluggish performance, even with top tier components.
Will either be a few generations of hardware down the road before people can really run the game smoothly at moderate settings, or the game will wind up like FFXI and never really perform well no matter how strong the PC it runs on gets.
This. Although they are making some big changes server-side, so I think they will hammer out a lot of issues eventually. I think part of the reason this is actually getting done now is because of Yoshida. He's a fellow gamer, and probably understands better than Tanaka how badly those issues need to be adjusted.