Can't say that I disagree. I played SWG since launch, and the vast exploration options are what kept me playing till the servers were closing down. Although swTOR has a vast universe to explore as well, you're still confined to alot of things, and as you said you'll only visit the planets during the leveling.
There's the bonus series and class quests that often take you back to several planets, but it's only for short trips, and in my oppinion this is a bit lacking.
There's probably alot of things they could have salvaged from SWG, beast handling pops to mind here, but this is swTOR and we'll have to make due with what we have at the moment.
thats why i threw on the 2.0. swg is about 10 years old. they can do a lot more with games these days and im sure they could have done a lot more with this game if they had gone another direction with it.