As others, myself included have said, I'd rather see varied and distinct areas than just... expanse.
Expanse can work in some instances (no pun) but it certainly didn't in 1.0 and it was a bit of a time sink in FFXI.
That being said:
I did the run from Ul'dah to Gridania on foot, and looking back at it, it did seem a bit short, although not too short. However I was running through during a sunset and it was possibly more beautiful than a lot of games I have played recently. So I guess that's the trade off.
However (again) as it has been mentioned, there are instances, this is hardly the full game and areas are currently locked. Also there are (hopefully) years of expansions and all of that fun stuff.
In regards to Ishgard, I hope that it is like a Jeuno. I like the idea of an eventual "hub" city; a destination to reach.
I also tend to wonder, what percent of the "miniaturized" feeling we get from the current map comes from the general lack of fear of death...
I remember in XI constantly having to pan the camera around each new corner to make sure a mob was going to latch onto me.
As of yet I'm undecided as to whether this "no-death" scenario is a good/bad/neutral occurrence. I will say it is on one hand a relief to not have to worry about dying, on the other, I find myself not truly paying attention and simply auto-running from place to place.
I suppose in time it will just become the standard and I won't even give it a second thought.
In fact, after visiting each zone a mere one time there is no need to EVER run from place to place, given the transport ability.