Even in 'ye olde times' there wasn't any great need for specialist gear to turn one class into another. Granted, Tarutaru paladins would benefit more from HP merits and gear more than a Galka, but that wouldn't necessarily make them a poor player for going with the defaults. The same is true today. While a Tarutaru Black Mage can potentially outshine an equally geared hume or Galka, gear is less of a focus when compared to skill.
In short, don't let character race dictate your options.