Yeah 16 is fine. In addition to not needing as many parts for each low level recipe, there is also less need for low level equipment in general.
I like the stone of xp technique. With that, this character is almost directly purchaseable even for a brand new player, albeit for quite a lot of TP:
Stone of xp (ouch! hehheh)
Turbine points code (trade to a high level crafter to make all the listed crafted gear)
35 Astral Diamonds (trade in for the 7 marks you need in the cauldron of sora kell)
After all that, the only grinding to do is manually level from 7 to 8, and then trying to farm up thaarak bracers and maenya's iron fists. Everything else listed is easy to get.