So I spoke with Antipathy through PMs earlier and they were extremely helpful in answering some of my questions although I'm still unable to pull the trigger on spending the time leveling either a mage or cleric. Because I'll only be able to raid on weekends, I imagine that I'll be forced to fill a role that is typically difficult to recruit for. Usually this means picking a healing class, but Rift is great in that they also have support roles. However, while I love the sound of an Archon, it looks like only one is ever needed per raid group and I'm sure that most steady guilds already have their support roles filled with people on wait lists and such. (If this isn't necessarily the case please let me know because I'd love to fill that spot with an Archon since I loved my EQ1 enchanter.)
So I'm looking at mage or cleric because of their healing and DPS abilities. I wasn't a fan of cleric at launch because everyone basically got pidgeonholed into Warden while the Chloros and Bards did all the heavy lifting. I want to avoid that again as I'm not a huge fan of HoTs. However, Purifier and Sentinel were both interesting, as was Chloro.
Rift is great because you can now wear any armor you'd like provided you meet the level restrictions and it isn't class restricted, so aesthetics aren't any longer in play.
It seems that a cleric might be the harder-to-replace class in terms of finding a raid spot in a guild, however I'm not sure its classes has the toys/tricks/tools that the mage souls seem to have.