Well, people still play. I think they still have several hundred thousand subscribers, though many may not be active. They just released a new expansion in the last few months or so.
You have to solo the first 10 levels, then get ready for some hot sitting-in-town-for-hours-afraid-to-go-to-the-bathroom-because-you-may-miss-an-invite action with your "Looking for group" flag up. Eventually I made a White Mage just to get in groups when I realized my thief, no matter how good I was, just wasn't going to get me anywhere. It worked for awhile, but they raised the level cap and Red Mages became the healer of choice. When my static group broke up because they wanted to play wow, I stopped playing.