I think eventually I could get elfman back but I was focusing on female toons and ran into the quest to send elfman to fight in the first dungeon at level 25 or so and I can not see the future lucy questline but I can fight through the bosses I am at lvl 30 and I think I can get around elfman at 31 but I am not sure. dismissing him before finishing the quests definealy causes problems. Worse if you give is permanent characters though.