I personally like their decision to make leveling quicker and end-game the meat of the game. FFXI was my first MMO and as much as I loved the leveling process, it took me nearly two years to get my first job to 75. I started out as a Paladin, but switched to Monk around 55 (which was a poor decision in retrospect). As a result I didn't get to experience much of the end-game content in my first stint of playing for four years. Picking your favorite job usually meant playing as something that people didn't want in end-game (Monk gets to chi-blast once every 3 minutes on god beasts b/c you don't want to feed them TP... yay! >.>). This forced you to have to go through the process all over again with another job, one that you may not enjoy as much. The system in FFXIV allows you to quickly get your first class/job to 50, while still offering a decent amount of grinding for subsequent classes. This is a perfect balance in my opinion. Most of us that played FFXI 10 years ago don't have the time to sit there and play for 8-10 hours to gain one level.
FFXI's leveling had a huge barrier to entry, one that put off several of my friends from playing it for an extended period of time. Those that had played other MMOs, such as WoW, despised the tedious process of leveling after a while. Even my best friend and his brother didn't get much beyond 50-60 and they played almost as much as I did for a couple years. Being able to level your first job quickly is almost necessary to keep expanding your new playerbase. It is a great way to get friends and significant others into the genre without it being overwhelming.