Utterly, utterly wrong. Newbie armour is better on many levels.
It is an introduction to questing and is considerably better than banded.
I can see that the only way to refute this argument is to run the math. For each instance I'm only going to do one bracer for brevity sake.
Brell's Quest Armor:
Armguards: AC5, Dex2, Wis2
Boots: AC5, Sta2, Wis1
Bracer: AC4, Agi4, Cha1
Breastplate: AC12, Str1, Sta5, Wis2
Gauntlets: AC5, Str3, Dex1
Greaves: AC6, Agi2, Dex3, Hp10
Helm: AC5, Sta2, Mana10 Total: AC42, Str4, Sta9, Agi6, Dex6, Wis5, Int0, Cha1, Hp10, Mana10
Sylvan Quest Armor:
Armguards: AC5, Sta2, Wis2
Boots: AC5, Str2, Wis1, Hp5
Bracer: AC4, Sta2, Wis1, Cha1
Breastplate: AC12, Str3, Wis5,
Gauntlets: AC5, Sta2, Wis1
Greaves: AC6, Sta2, Wis1, Cha2
Helm: AC5, Wis2, Hp5 Total: AC42, Str5, Sta7, Agi0, Dex0, Wis14, Int0, Cha3, Hp10, Mana0
Banded Armor (Full Suit):
Sleeves: AC7 Total: AC85
Hopefully my math and typing skills are up to par. Although learning how to quest (and the patience that goes along with it) is a valuable skill to learn, if the quest is extra-ordinarily difficult I don't see the value in becoming frustrated. Although banded armor does not have the stat benefits that quest armor has, I would argue that at the very early stages having a higher AC and HP is more important than a high wisdom. Although having a high wisdom later on down the road is highly valuable for a cleric, if you are going to solo in any form you need to have the AC, HP, and damage potential to live through the encounters. Banded gives you twice the armor class of the newbie quest armor and is extremely easy to obtain (although smaller sizes may be more challenging if you don't make it yourself).
For starting stats a dwarven cleric has a 95 strength, 95 stamina, 90 dexterity (good for learning weapons skills), and 93 wisdom. A high-elven cleric has a 60 strength, 70 stamina, 70 dexterity, and 105 wisdom. The quest armor for the elven cleric has a whopping +7 stamina because they start so low in this stat, and the wisdom is very nice. Unfortunately it only gives you +5 strength for an unmodified total of 65 and a 77 stamina. Naked the dwarf has a 95 strength and 95 stamina. In a full suit of banded with no jewelry the dwarf will have an AC85, 95 strength, and 95 stamina. Dollars to donuts a dwarven cleric in a full suit of banded is going to live through most newbie encounters.
After this point I would normally hunt gobbies and buy: wis/str enhancing jewelry, nice 1HB weapon, nice shield, cougar claw earring for mana preservation.
Hopefully my argument has proven that I may be insane, but I may not be completely wrong all the time.