I'm one of the ones that was bored by FFXII and loved Xenoblade. Saying that the games are similar is like saying Deus Ex and Call of Duty are similar because they both use first person combat. Sure, they use the same basic battle system, but that's where the differences end.
I actually didn't mind the FFXII battle system, that's not what I disliked about FFXII. And saying that I "disliked" FFXII is a little strong, I just didn't feel much of anything toward the game. Where-as, I fell in love with Xenoblade. FFXII just felt uninspired and plodding. Boring designs, boring dungeons, emotionally distant story. The exact opposite of Xenoblade.
At the same time, I was kind of happy that they made FFXII at the time. I thought FFX went a little too on the melodramatic side, and thought that maybe with FFXII they'd learn to balance the two extremes. Unfortunately, all my hopes were dashed with FFXIII-1 when they made a game more melodramatic, random, and more linear than FFX. So that sorta killed one of the only good things I felt about FFXII. Thankfully they seem to be back on track now, after about 6 games.