I don't know, maybe 1 more year in development could have fixed a lot of these current bugs and apply a bit more polish to the features.
If they'd waited through one more year of beta and launched there'd still be something that requires polish. Every MMO launches with things that are lacking, whether it be stuff their predecessors have had for a long time but they do not (WoW and RIFT having LFG, for instance) or things that no one has had but most will come to realize were good additions later on (like when WoW added Dungeon Finder).
All told, SWTOR has had perhaps the best launch of any MMO to date. They get better each time (generally speaking..) so this was to be expected, but there were no terribly game-shattering bugs such as those that plagued previous releases. People who think SWTOR's was really all that bad were either part of a relatively small few who encountered some unfortunate issues, which happens with any game, or are misremembering the launches of previous games through rose-colored glasses or simply don't recall them at all.
Anarchy Online, for instance, had people falling through the world for weeks. En masse. This was not the exception, but the norm. One might have said that if you were on normal ground at this point, YOU were bugged.
World of Warcraft had criiiiiiippling server stability issues that had many people up in arms. What was the point of a stress test, they'd ask, if apparently no changes were made to deal with the stress of launch? Servers crashed, stayed down, crashed again, and those that actually managed to stay on a server were plagued by horrible lag and an inability to loot creatures for hours at a time (consider: looting X Warthog Eyes from creatures was a primary method of completing quests in WoW).
Age of Conan.. let's not even touch it.
In comparison, SWTOR has had remarkably few launch bugs. Server stability was actually pretty strong. Lag was the exception, not the norm. I don't recall servers dropping out of the sky. The biggest complaint was excessive queue times on some servers (reaching several hours). Warzones lag for some people, having shadows enabled caused slowdown for others, but other than that.. very little that stopped people from playing. And only two quest hiccups that prevented the progression of class quests.