Really the flaw at the core of FFXI's design is that none of the classes, aside from Beastmaster, was inherently self-sufficient. The reasoning for this was that S-E wanted players to be forced to rely on one another to fill roles, but it caused huge problems in game balance.
Refresh wasn't one of Red Mage's original spells; it wasn't until players complained that there was no reason to invite a RDM to a party that the dev team eventually added it. Now that everyone and their brother can /RDM or /SCH even outside of special environments which give extra MP regeneration effects, RDM is once again back in the situation of being jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none. Their mastery of enhancement and enfeebling doesn't matter because they don't have access to the best enhancement spells, and enfeebles are somewhat marginal in any case and can be provided by other jobs.
As for ToAU parties, I wouldn't say that there wasn't a distinct difference between good and bad RDMs at such parties. Sure, you could endlessly do nothing but loop Haste and Refresh and basically get away with it if the melee players knew what they were doing and had two bards/corsairs to control links, but if your RDM isn't working to help control links and zapping buffs with Dispel, it was really easy to break your XP chain or get overwhelmed on a bad pull. Of course, all of that is sort of a moot point with Abyssea.