That's why I stopped melee soloing with Carby, even Spirit Taker was making hate dodgy. I switched to Fenrir up until Garuda matched him for perp and now I almost use her exclusively.
I actually never stopped using Fenrir even after getting Karura. Reason being that while Garuda has higher spike damage (Pred Claws > Eclipse Bite), Fenrir attacks faster and for the same damage. So if you're leaving the avatar out, rather than BP/release, Fenrir can actually come out ahead of Garuda in terms of damage and sustained enmity in many cases. He doesn't, however, have any self-heal moves like Garuda... so it also depends on what you're fighting. Usually, though, it's just a matter of resummoning Fenrir between each fight and you don't have to worry about healing.
This is very true. As with almost everything in FFXI, the situation will determine which avatar you choose. I find myself using Garuda in places like Campaign where I really don't want to have to release and resummon. Her ability to heal allows her to tank an entire mob without me having to resummon her. This allows me to melee alongside her without having to worry about hate. If I am more concerned about DOT, then I will use Fenrir.
As for GoB, I was a bit disappointed. I know it's probably just me, but I was really hoping that in addition to being able to make Light with our staff, I hoped that we would finally be able to open Distortion. It is the only SC (lv1-2) we cannot make with our avatars. Somehow SCH got that position on renkei chart, and we know how often SCHs melee! I know it isn't really a big deal, but I would have liked to be able to GoB ---> Double Slap for a nice Distortion. Oh, well.
BLM 99/SMN 99/RDM 99/SCH 99/WHM 99/BLU 99/DNC 99/NIN 49/WAR 49/THF 46/BRD 41/COR 40/RNG 38/DRK 37/