This makes me kind of sad. I've always liked how certain races had different stats. I felt it let you personalize your character even more, picking a race that compliments your favorite jobs. I guess it might have made it harder for a taru or galka, but they always seemed to do just fine with the right itemization. However you'd never see me out there with my elvaan sporting a pointed hat and slinging nukes.
I think that having different stats (especially having a starting city ring) can sway people into the "correct" race, lore-wise, for the class/job.
You can be a Taru/lalafel tank; its very doable, though just not as optimal.
Needless to say, I wish that there were a bit more distinction between the races in this realm. I think that there was nothing wrong with how FFXI handled it and I'm sad to have seen these sorts of starting stats go by the wayside.