Might I suggest a few things that you can try to make your character models appear:
1 - enter the FFXI configuration utility and 'turn' down/off weather effects, shadows, character modeling, etc.
2 - reduce or eliminate in game text messages; ie: shouts, battle damage, monster damage on party members etc.
3- check your background resolution so that it is not double you screen resolution.
I'm not sure what the Intel HD 4000 onboard grahpics are capable of; just start at the baseline settings of FFXI graphics and proceed from there. Maybe there are some things in the graphical settings that are preventing the character models from displaying due to the limits of the HD 4000 onboard chip.
My old laptop (Dell XPS 170- built in 2005) died sometime back and last Friday I bought a new HP Pavillion g7-2269 with the AMD A8-4500m quad core with the Vision 7645 onboard chip. I'm not sure it will run FFXI but if I get a chance I'll install 11 on it and try it. No reason why it wouldn't; I think it was the chip in the AMD video running the FFXIV demo. Was on sale at Wal-Mart for $519.