First off, this post is not about whether I approve or disapprove of gil buying/selling. However, I do applaud Kiyokatsu for the great efforts put into it. Now, something for all of you (myself included) to think about. :)
Let's say PersonA works a regular job. He/she may have school also and probably a family to take care of, too. Now this PersonA has some RL money he/she would like to spend for his/her enjoyment for the little time he/she has. He/she could go to the movies or rent some videos, or go to a concert or a night club, even. But he/she already had enough driving from commuting to and from work but doesn't want to drive more than necessary so he/she would like to do something for enjoyment at home during the little time he/she has. So, he/she decides to play this game. Since he/she has already faced w/ the daily grind IRL for RL money for his cost of living (bills, etc), he/she doesn't want to spend what's left of his/her time (that he/she has to him/herself) to face the grind of a game... (farming, getting experience points, camping NMs and so on...). So PersonA decides to buy gil online, reducing the TIME required for him/her to get somewhere in the game.
Now we have PersonB, whom probably live in China or even in USA. If PersonB is in USA, he could have a network of complex bots farming (camping NMs, fish botting, etc.) to make his living instead of commuting to work for 8-10 hrs a day and deal with the office/workplace politic BS. (We all been thru this at some point. You know what I'm talking about. If you don't, then obviously you're too young to be commenting IMO.) Or if PersonB is in some 3rd world country where he/she could find the only means of good paying job that can support his college fees or his family. (FYI, not all countries offer finacial aid from the goverment or even have scholarships. Some cases, there are too much corruption in the goverment that a smart student will not get scholarship. This will be another thread.) Whether the job is working some factory or playing a game. In this case, he/she gets paid for playing game by killing some mobs to get the drops and then sell it on AH for gil. Then, sell his/her service (time and effort) spent on finding those gils to a potential buyer that's willing to pay RL money for it.
Now ask yourself this, you (implying PersonA) watch TV for news and sports. Who pays those reporters and the broadcasting station (implying PersonB)? The advertisers (implying the medium where the support of information is transferred like online gil buy/sell site). Who pays the advertisers? YOU!!! When you buy their product(s) and service(s). (I will not get into economics since it's beyond the scope of this thread and forum :)
In the end, it all comes down to PersonA not having the TIME to get the information he wants in the the little TIME he has and PersonB whom has the time to find that information PersonA is looking for. All information has certain value to it, whether it be about RL events or E(lectronic) events. In this case, that information is "gil".
In order words, if you're investing too much of your TIME in the game trying to get the best items possible from the game and you're complaining then you have a SERIOUS problem. Why not spend that time in RL to get the best stuff possible? Don't tell me that you don't care about materials because you obviously do if you complain about how this person and that person has better gears than you in game. When was the last time you looked at your /playtime?
I've been playing this game since November of 2003 and I've noticed some people are too obsessed getting the best items in game while they quit from school and work in RL. My playtime will shock all of you. I don't ever log off because:
a) I work from home and I do work with servers, networks, security, etc... leaving the FFXI Client online 24/7/365 only to further test where my computer/network skills may have flawed
b) takes too many steps to logon and my computers run 24/7/365
I'm only offline when:
1) my ISP goes down (like every night at around 2 AM... why is this so when I pay for a 24/7/365 connection... granted when there's a new notorious virus/worm or big major natural disaster but everynight if not every other night?)
2) SE servers disconnects me or FFXI Client crashes... /sigh
If you wonder, no... I never have nor will I ever buy gils. I have no need of it. When I started this game, I made notes of where I can buy everything, the NPC prices, and how much are they selling for on AH. It's like importing and exporting. It's amazing when you just starting without a subjob and making 5-10k gils overnight when you come back to the game the next day. I also did gardening and farming, some crafting. Now, I just kill high level NMs. Yes, I play this game for the challenges it offers:
1) the mob's abilities
2) your abilites as the job & race
3) how to best use your abilities to counter the mob's
Last time I went to solo some avatars (not Fenrir) as lv75 RDM/NIN for challenges, I killed each them in about 12 minutes without even trying hard. I don't have scorpion harness and enhancing sword. I'd like to get the scorpion harness but I'm not about to take time from RL tasks to get something in game. :)