I paid a visit to the Level 23 Weapon Vendor in Vesper Bay and noticed that he had quite a varied selection of armor. I was actually able to select pieces of gear that specifically had Spell Speed on them for my Conjurer. Sure a piece or two might have had lower defense than other possible choices, but the stat values were the same. The gear system is a lot like WoW's, but it does seem like there is a bit of FFXI in there as well.
I think this is going be a big area where crafting will come in. You might get gear from questing and dungeons, but it may not have your preferred stat on it. Crafting will most likely fill these holes, and with all three sources you will be able to put together your best set. Sure there will be plenty of people that get by with what they can find, but around level 30 or so I have a feeling that players are going to start wanting to pimp out their sets.