So I tried my first Flashpoint yesterday with a friend. I was in the beta, but never really tried them out. I was actually a bit surprised how much fun Flashpoints are, and I will gladly place them among the most rewarding and fun group experiences I've had in a MMO for a long time!
We started out me and my friend, but quickly we got 2 more and were ready to go. The entire Flashpoint took place on the spaceship The Esseless and the story was nicely cut up in small story elements with cutscenes, dialogs and new areas opening up as we made our progress. That alone was quite a different experience from the traditional "cut-your-way-through-a-mass-of-monsters-to-get-to-the-very-evil-boss-farthest-down-in the-labyrinth" type of hack and slash dungeons I'm used to.
This felt like a story - a multiplayer story mind you. It really added a touch of drama and atmosphere to see the other players talk in shifts during the dialogs instead of just seeing a portrait and a name. I kind of felt I got to know these people or at least the characters they were playing. Like a little story we played together - was amazing! Of course there were choices to be made also - do you want to sacrifice the men to save this or that, or do you take the long and risky way around etc. You can still get your light/dark side points even if the group majority chooses to do something else than you wanted though.
After last night I went from "yeah yeah, dungeons again!! It's just hack and slash in multiplayer mode + add annoying whiners and ninjas to spoil the fun" and to "wow, this is f***ing great, I can't wait to play my next group story in this game, because it's so enjoyable". So thumbs up for that, Bioware