So there have been a lot of "arguments" on either side of the fence regarding whether SWTOR is worth playing or not. The funny thing is that much of the same evidence is portrayed as either positive or negative, revealing more about the writer than it does about the game. This happens with every newly released MMO and probably every single-player game as well.
One criticism is the lack of true aliens as Player Character choices. BioWare apparently said a few months ago they felt that an alien's story would be too different from the human centered stories they had developed. This is true. There is a ton of prejudice in the SW universe against even "near humans," much less other aliens. So their story would not be the same. However, as I recall, BioWare went a step further and said they didn't think people would be able to relate to an alien protagonist. I was thinking the other night that it had to do with audio dialogue more than graphics issues. As HarbingrZero pointed out, they have most of the aliens that people would want to play already modeled and rendered as NPCs. I do think it's short-sighted. Plenty of people have played some pretty bizarre creatures in other games. WoW has Space Goats, Walking Cows and Self-Willed Zombies, for cryin' out loud. Cryptic's STO is the king of aliens, thanks to their extremely customizable characters. After going through the various models in the creation screen during the SWTOR beta, I can pretty much guarantee most of my alts will be human or cyborg (which is human). The other options were kinda lame, IMHO. A Rodian or Trandoshan would have been cool.
The Legacy System has also come under fire. I have issues with it myself, but it won't stop me from playing the game or adapting to the Legacy System in my roleplaying.
A commenter named "gahgoots" on Scarybooster's SWTOR Beta Review/Impressions Part 1: The Bad left a well articulated comment regarding his impressions of the game after a few months of beta testing. Basically he said the replayability of the game is limited, it is too linear. There is not enough to do besides quest.
I understand the liner/nonlinear argument, both within a zone and through multiple zones. WoW gave several options for questing in different zones any any given level, but I often found I had to visit several zones just to level up to the next tier of questing, the next set of zones. Within each zone, there were places you didn't want to go when you first qualified to enter the zone, because you would get your ass handed to you.
Rift has a similar problem; there were several times that my bride and I had to go to another zone to quest because we had progressed in the story farther than we had progressed in levels. The quests became too difficult to complete without leveling up first. Also, Rift suffers from the one-time-through-for-each-faction issue. More so than SWTOR, I believe.
Gahgoots also said the mirrored classes meant that there are really only four classes to play. I disagree with this, because of the advanced classes. even if the ACs are mirrored (they are), that's still 8 classes after the intro planets. Some ACs may be very similar, Shadow (rogue) and Sage (mage/priest) have completely different roles and many different abilities. The same with goes for Sniper versus Operative: A long-range cover-loving killer as opposed to an in-your-face melee fighter or healer. WoW had only about that many classes to start, and didn't even bother to change their names or ability effects. STO only has three "branches."
The linearity can be enjoyable. I see the SWTOR story as a choose-your-own adventure. Many of the things that have been brought up are not problems to me. I am not an idiot, I am not lazy (well maybe a little), I prefer that a game be relaxing, not frustrating. I have enough stress at work, I don't want to come home to more stress. If you do, Dear Reader, maybe this game is not for you. I don't enjoy FPS games like Halo or CoD, or EA Sports games like Madden or NBA Elite, but I don't come on here and rant about how they suck.
I've played a few other MMOs, and they all have the same features/problems to some degree. The question is, is the journey enjoyable? Most people who will play Skyrim all the way through have already done so, and loved it. It's been less than a month since it came out. For the same price as Skyrim ($60), you can get the basic edition of SWTOR and play for a month. Of course, BioWare and EA would like you to keep playing and paying the monthly subscription. Play the game for as long as you enjoy it, then cancel your subscription. Easy as pie.