Just saw this thread, figure I should contribute. I started playing 36-ish days ago, and am already pretty advanced (view sig). I have the following people to thank for helping me out, when it comes to simple gifts, help with information, quests, missions, or just enduring my bitch-fits when I get frustrated with something.
Lanntis - A good friend of mine for a long time, Lanntis is the person for whom I came to FFXI for, recieving his Gold Pass. Starting me out with an initial gift of gil to get myself started on and generally being like that computer guy from Quantum Leap. Everytime I was confused or had some infantile question, I'd call him up. Lanntis is also responsible for launching me through to Rank 5 and getting my airship pass, making leveling and traveling even easier. Thank you.
Fyui - One of the first people to help me out. This Mithra gave me my first Link Pearl, one which I rarely if ever use anymore. She practically walked me through my first baby steps as a WHM and directed me through Valkurm. As I reached a new level, every so often, she would accompany that level with a small piece of gear. Thank you, Fyui.
Tattyana - Where Tattyana lacks in core levels, she makes up for in heart. She gave me my second link pearl to the LS Razgriz or Razgris, the exact name escapes me now, but it's the red dot next to my name. This is also the LS I am most active in. Tattyana is someone who repeatedly puts up with my bitching when I'm not getting something right. She tolerates various aspects of my personality that many would have shoved me off by then for. She continues to push me on when I feel about to give up. When no one is able to help me with Quest [insert quest name here], even though it could be just as dangerous for her, she draws a sword ready to dive into the thick of it all. Thanks Tatty.
Excalibur - My knight in shining armor (quite literally), this Paladin was practically my slave through Kazham coffer hunts. Like Tatty, he is also a very strong influence to me on pushing on. Giver of gifts, all of which /cheers given. Sometimes I pretend he's an emotional punching bag and let frustrations out to him, and he tolerates it all and someone makes it go away. Thank you!
Sylem - Sylem, the RNG/NIN who dealt with me through half of my RSE quest. I met Sylem out in Altepa while he was leveling his sub. I got a link pearl from him, another I don't use too often. As an individual though, he has saught me through the final strech of my RSE quest and is also the provider of most of my information as a BST. Lends tips and pointers here and there and is generally quite helpful.
Grond & Haphazard & Necronus & Lexshue and the rest of Razgris - I can't single out too many from this LS as they all have helped me in one way or another. Hap, being on very often, is normally the first place I go for any information or with any questions on anything. Like many of my other friends, Hap puts up with my incessant banter about how I can't afford Opaline or whatever I may be crying about at the given time. Hap & Grond were also the main players involved in my RSE quest. Grond was the silent Samurai Warrior hacking and slashing through various monsters while Hap and I awaited the keys and searched for the chest. Overall, this social LS seems to take in newer players and shape them into more skilled players as we progress, then do the same for new recruits. Very helpful LS, with quite a high Mithra population. I think Grond is our only Galka. Necro is basically my secondary mentor behind Lanntis. He too is a very heavy provider of knowledge and many times points out hunting places and where I should be going. There was even one time where was in a terrible party in Crawler's Nest, way before we should have been there. Necro came in and D2 me out of there, lol.
Zarak - Generally a provider of information. Met him in Valkurm and told me to call him if I ever need help. I do. Thanks.
ANyone I am forgetting, I'm very sorry, but I'm doing this off the top of my head and don't really have a list with me to go by. Thank you all for the warm welcome to Midgardsormr.