I really don't understand why every character must be equal to eachother.
If you don't have the time to play that much (I'll probably be one of those), then sure, your character won't have all the skills on as high a lvl as those who play 24/7.
But having a passive skill lvling system where everyone will end up being max lvld at the same time just ruins the incentive to actually spend that extra hour mining just because you want to be a bit beter then the rest.
As I've understood it, not having the skills at lvl 1 doesn't automaticly translate to you not knowing how to do it, (for example mining), but rather that you won't be as good as those who have a higher lvl of it.
If you want to have all characters on equal footing, go play CS:go, Starcraft or something like that.
Raising a character from a newb to an expert is half the fun, even if I won't mine as quickly as the rest. That just makes it more a of a challenge and results in that I have to focus more on my personal skills rather then the ingame ones (even if they are connected).