I do know from experience, that the sword's first skill is one of the best skills in the entire game.
While it can be very useful in PvP, there are times that it shines in PvM as well.
Think of blitzbee island, for example.
A swordsman can solo there much easier than an ogre or dwarf (up to a certain level, I guess; a level 5k dwarf would have no issue maybe); but the swordsman can go there and kill mobs at an earlier level than the others.
There are a few such instances where some sadistic map designer made mobs with ultra high dex, which is a similar situation.
Sure, it's really only certain areas, but this also lends to the idea that if you have a higher level tank for you, a swordsman can be levelled more easily too IMO.