I remember your little forum portrait, at least. haha :P Not sure if it was used by others.
As for the game compared to 11, there's not a huge ton of similarities. The races are similar, biggest changes being the Tarutaru -> Lalafell conversion. Hume (Hyur), Mithra (Miqo'te), Elvaan (Elezen), and Galka (Roegadyn) are pretty similar to what you'd recognize in 11. There are male Miqo'te and female Roegadyns, so that's good.
The game plays out a lot like WoW. The holy trinity exists (Tank, DPS, Healer), with currently no support-only classes. It'd be hard to have it otherwise with only parties of 4. Baby dungeons require 4 people total, while the bigger dungeons/raids require 8 or 24 people, though I believe you can enter with less.
You don't need to find 5 friends to help you wipe after going to the bathroom, like you did in FFXI, so that's good. The community is pretty nice for the most part, but there are always bad apples, or assholes, or whatever. I don't know if that's still the case, since the game has been out a while, the may have moved on to the latest and greatest "wow killer".
The game is about to start a new chapter with the upcoming expansion. I was personally a bit disappointed with how they did end-game stuff in 2.0. CKD started off with 6 coil parties, and only 1 was ever able to actually get to the end of the storyline. The rest broke upon bosses like waves upon rocks at various stages. I'm hoping that 3.0 will have an end-game that is a bit more welcoming, though I guess it really comes down to finding the right group of people to raid with.
Either way, I think you and your girlfriend would be able to get your money's worth out of the game. Whether you end up playing it super long-term remains to be seen, but the storytelling and environments are just as awesome as they were in 11, if not more so. The game is pretty awesome, even if I'm not currently playing it :P