You present an interesting topic. At first, I thought you said earth staff. I will be honest, I don't think you should be using a staff at all, except for HNM fights. And here is why:
-You lose shield break, a imperative tool used for snatching hate back.
-You lose the ability to block attacks with your shield, another imperative ability to the Paladin.
-You lose the added defense of a Shield.
-Staff = High delay / minimal damage, while sword
Sword = Low Delay / Decent damage.
-More hits = More hate, esp. with Full AF.
- More misses, less hate = aggro on your party.
- Taru I believe have the least amount of VIT in the game, out of all races. You should really be striving to get the gluttony Sword to counter act that. Even though you have a ton of MP, the ability to not take as much damage far outweighs the ability to heal.
Here are a couple of the +'s to using a staff:
- They kick major skeleton Tail, along side with a MNK.
- They have a couple nice WS
Overall, I think that for EXP parties, you should really only be using a Sword and Shield combo. However, for HNM fights a staff, mainly earth staff is what you are going to want to be using, esp if you are tanking it.
But, it really all comes down to how you play Paladin. I personally prefer the A+ rating that I get with SWD, and also never pictured a Knight using a staff to defeat his enemies.
Call me cookie cutter, but cookie cutters are used for a reason. They make things come out perfect each time.
Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways.