my advice is to browse the wards on your server, see what sells and for what. Avoid trying to make money off of things people mass produce to level up - try to supply the materials for those crafts.
But really, your best bet is to rank up. The higher rank you are the better money you get from leves and the more variety of mobs you can hunt to supplement your income. http://ffxiv.yg.com/bazaar
Check that out too to give you a rough idea of what things are selling for.
Also don't look down your nose at crafting. I've seen relatively low level crafting leves give some nice materials as a reward. As you said, leves are a limited commodity - well crafting leves give you an extra 8 leves per reset. Each will give you a little gil and some materials you can sell or make into something else.
Also pelts seem to npc well and marmots are easy to kill. Edited, Aug 14th 2011 9:33am by Olorinus
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.