So. I suppose since there isn't an actual solution. I am going to post something here from my knowledge.
I am currently 49 because I am attempting to get my life skill achievements done first so I don't have to worry about griefing or getting PK'ed. Personally, I might suggest this too.
For the XP grind, once you hit 50, xp slows down tremendously. I would save those combat xp buffs until you get to here and begin using them.
Try to party up with people 3-5 levels higher than you and start farming areas that are suited to your level but not terribly difficult for killing mobs.
Equipment wise. I have no idea. That AP/DP stuff, plus the enhancements. I'm for a loop on. I'm a sorceress and when I try to get to these levels, I'll probably look up builds around the community forums and the BD Foundry.
One of the best armor you can attempt to get that isn't boss level is Grundil. You can also look up the class specific builds for your best weapons. Gear is based off of enchantment levels, going from 1 to 15, then PRI, DUO, TRI, TET, PEN. With each getting harder to make, or more expensive to buy.
By time I got the other life skill achievements and sold my items from there, I has enough to buy basically full TRI gear some decent jewelry.
This one will be a bit tough, but if you horde the XP boosts given almost all the time by GM's, daily's, and events. It should be an additional step forward to helping you get 56.
If someone comes up with a more detailed solution, feel free to post it and I can always remove this and push it to a comment.