yes there was a search function added at some point but it still wasn't as proper/streamlined as an AH, not by a longshot, and you still had to walk through those creepy bazaar NPCs.
again it's not even really one of my huge gripes but it's more like Callinon was saying. how did they mess that one up? besides local/nation divided AHs not working so well later in the game's life, the FFXI AH seemed pretty much perfect to me.
AGAIN, you didn't have to go near the creep room that probably smelled pretty foul. You were able to buy right from the search menu. Search for item, buy it. JUST LIKE FFXI.
You keep mentioning all the fanatical fanboyism. I quite playing 14 about 3 months in because I got bored with it and would play it very lightly occasionally to check on progress, and I cancelled when they started charging for it, and came back for the "Welcome Back" campaign to check out the changes and stayed. I've been pretty f*cking outspoken
about the flaws and stupid moves they've made, like beginning their subscription phase just as all the new MMO's like SWTOR were released.
And I can think of at least 5 or 6 people here even more critical than I am, that can actually have a discussion on the topic without it devolving into an internet slap fight.