At the end of the day, you won't know if you like it until you try it. So if you already own the game or have a friend with a buddy pass, no harm signing in and trying it out. This being said: Reasons I prefer FFXIV to FFXI:
1. While it is true that finding an exp party can be hit or miss, you don't NEED to wait around town, wasting time to level. You can efficiently do leves/behests to get a level or two while you wait for an invite or just don't feel like grouping up that day. Also, leves give a modest gil reward upon completion (gil reward gets better as you level up).
2. How you choose to play you class/job is more flexible at the moment. While it is true that there are some cross-class abilities you are expected to at some point pick up, most people care about how WELL you play the way you set your character up and not exactly what ability/sub classes you have equipped.
3. While there are some quests you will need a full group for, there are also plenty of quests you are supposed to solo. I like the blend of both.
4. I like the gameplay better and the class/job system better. There is a lot less 'hidden stat' stuff in this game or random leveling. Like leveling a craft in ffxi you might see a +.1 raise every 3 synths or every 20, depending on the moon, way you were facing, level, luck, etc. In this game, x synth=y exp based on your level+the synths level+ the players skill in using the proper abilities while synthing.
5. Gathering/Crafting is an actual playable class and not a hobby.
6. You can literally go out on your BTN to harvest some trees, see a small NM you wanna kill on the way, swap out your btn gear for your Black Mage Gear on the spot, nuke the NM, get the reward, switch back to BTN, gather your stuff. Tele yourself back to town, and craft with the mats you harvested all without having to go back to your house to change and all in the same hour of gameplay.
Reasons to come back now:
1. You can still qualify for 'veteran' status, which would lock you into a lower monthly subscription plan+ give some in-game rewards not available post 2.0.
2. You can level a class/job or Three very easily between now and 2.0, which will not only allow you to do some of the new rank 50+ content come 2.0, but also should help you create a small nest egg of gil/supplies.
3. There are a couple of in-game events/items you can only obtain pre-2.0.
4. While the community is still pretty small, it is usually welcoming and helpful. Just find a social/beginner ls and you should be good to go.
5. Most of the HUGE adjustments that greatly affected how you played the game are done. While yes, the Dev team is still tweaking things here and there, you won't have to deal with the huge re-learning curve many of the veteran players had between each big patch.
6. Assuming you have access to a copy of the game, you can try it out and see if you like it now without it costing a lot.
7. You understand, and are okay with the fact that while this game is almost 2 years old, it is being re-written and therefore just does not have all the storylines,quests,classes,etc that FFXI or other older MMO's might have. Remember FFXI got it's first expansion in conjunction with the NA release, pre that however, I believe the Japanese playerbase only had the 3 cities and their surroundings, and was level capped around 35....This game is somewhere between that and the state of FFXI around it's NA release.
Reasons to wait:
1. While a fair amount of players are returning to the game and/or are new players trying it out for the first time, there are still not as many low level-mid level people as high level. This can make it hard to find people who are new, need to level, gears etc. However when 2.0 comes out the PS3 people alone will make this no longer a worry.
2. You don't currently have a copy of the game/can get a copy cheaply and are still on the fence about playing it. In this case, depending on your personal finances, you might be better suited to re-installing FFXI as you already had it and trying FFXIV out when 2.0 is released.
3. While they have done everything they can to make the Market-ward system tolerable within the confines of the game servers', we are stuck with the less-than practical Market Wards until 2.0. (Let me be clear you CAN seach for items/sell things and find what you want typically in under 2 mins, but it's still a little clunky. So MW isn't the issue it once was, but it can still make new players go WTH??!! until they get use to it).
4. You don't like playing a game as it is literally being written/re-written. You'd rather just see a polished, fresh game from the get-go. Basically, we're still playing 'not quite 2.0' and so because of this, some storylines might not be perfect (Conjurer quest lines still talk about learning all the Elemental spells/communing with the, and yet CNJ can no longer cast them all etc.). We have inns but not player housing because it is way easier for SE to wait until we are on the 2.0 servers to give us our homes etc...
5. You could care less whether or not you see an in-game world blow up/face major catastrophy/get a Gobbue to ride around, get certain achievements etc.
6. Veteran status/pricing doesn't consern you.
7. You'd prefer to wait until 2.0 is released so that you can be on one of the servers dedicated to 'new characters only'
Keep in mind: It's hard for me to say 'Yes, come to FFXIV because you will personally like it better', only you can know that. It's probably worth trying out if you don't have to sink a lot of money into the attempt.