Human: The quickest to advance in levels(exp factor of 3) - but their shorter life span means that field of age traps and using tomes hurts these characters more than other races. However, they are the most versatile of any guild, and often make the best super-mush-pot characters - given you can keep their age down.
Elf: Having the second highest exp factor(7) results in slower level advancement. Their extremely long lifespan(450) and highest intelligence and wisdom(and thus mana) is also very valuable for elves. They do suffer from low strength & constitution, but they are not best utilised at combat characters. Being the most effective spell casters, elves are quite useful.
Giants: Strong, strong, strong, and tough. Having a max natural strength of 29, giants are the strongest race in the game. Sure, they might be a bit ugly, but it doesn't really matter, since they smash a lot of things to pieces in one or two blows. Virtually always members of the warrior's guild, the can also join the explorer and barbarian guilds, giving them something to use their spell points on. Living to a reasonable age(225), having 50% resistance to a number of attack forms, with a moderate experience factor(6), giants are a strong front to any party.
Gnome: The most charismatic of all races - which is interesting - given that gnomes encountered in the depths are "believed by many to be kin to the dwarves, these small but dangerous fanatics are actually twisted, stunted humans who search for normal humans to sacrifice in dark rituals." (What is the deal with this? I'm sure these charismatic guys would not be pleased being compared to 'twisted stunted humans'!) Gnomes also (and I find quite surprisingly) have the highest total points for statistics out of all of the races. Anyway, being quite good magic users, gnomes are perfect candidates for the magi guild, and are quite decent spell casters all round. Having the same experience factor as giants(6), gnomes live to a good age(315), and are stronger and more resilient than elves.
Dwarf: Living to a decent age(275), with a moderate exp factor(5) dwarves are quite versatile, and make effective mush-pots. Making decent fighters, thieves or spell casters(but only being able to join the warlock & cleric guilds), they are a well-balanced race, able to master many tasks in their reasonably long-life time. They also have a number of resistances, increasing their usefulness, and survival ability. Healing themselves, opening a chest, fighting creatures, or teleporting around the dungeon; dwarves can do any or all of the above.
Ogre: Limited somewhat in the guilds they can join(artisan, warrior & barbarian), ogres live to a reasonable age(250) and have a moderate exp factor.(6) They have a large number of good resistances, as well as having good breathing and sight abilities, but these advantages are offset by only being able to join 3 guilds. Stupid and not terribly dextrous, ogres have a high strength and the highest constitution, so are often very hard to kill. However, they need serious magical support in a party, but could still be useful.
Yeti: Having the second lowest exp factor(4), and the best breathing ability, yetis have the second shortest lifespan(175), but can join a number of good guilds. Having a rather low constitution and charisma, they are often not exceptionally tough, and don't make terribly effectives mages - however, they have several resistances - and are the only guild to have 95% resistance to a type of attack.(paralysis) Yetis are reasonably strong and dextrous, and are a decent race, and are often called on to perform rescues for characters that die underwater.
Saris: The most dextrous of all races, they suffer from the highest exp factor(8), but have the second longest lifespan(325) to counter this. Having 4 90% resistances(Electrical, Mind, Stone & Acid), and all of them being quite useful gives this race an advantage over some others. Making an excellent combination as a cleric/thief, Saris also have good vision, making them valuable party members.
Troll: Statistically a powerful race, trolls have a reasonable life span(285), and the best combined breathing and sight ability, along with an exp factor of 6. Strong, dextrous, durable, having max wis and int of 23, seem to have the best statistics of any race. However, they can only join 2 or 1 extra guilds depending on their alignment, given that all can join artisan. Evil allows ninja, villain & barbarian, neutral allows thief & barbarian, and Good allows ninja. Since Saris make the best thieves, Trolls are really only feasable as evil ninja/villain/barbarians, but are quite effective in this combo. They have a few resistances, but generally require support from other characters in order to survive.