Pre-NGE, specifically Pre-CU:
Couldn't have said it better myself, though, when you were incapacitated after losing a whole HAM bar, it wasn't a focus on health, it was just a deathblow command you initiated either by clicking on them and choosing it or spamming it with a macro like everyone did to make it happen instantly.
The CU was a rebalancing which quite a few didn't like, the NGE just turned the game into a crappy MMO that could almost have been console driven (control wise)
The crafting and item customization was truly what set SWG apart from almost every other mmo out there with resources shifting every week or two (which you had to mine out of the ground using harvesters), special materials that could be added to the mats list to improve stats of the item that would also depend on the skill of the crafter as well as bonuses from skill tapes and the different stats that exists on the resources used in the crafting (each resource had many different stats that were useful for different item crafting, like copper would have high conductivity up to a max of 1000, but I believe 999 was the highest ever seen on a server, which would be great for crafting a component that might need to be conductive, but would suck if used as an item in a component for armor which needed to be strong because copper would have a super low stat in that position)
That's a very horrible description, on my part, of the crafting but it was certainly THE single thing that I really loved about the game. Some people had some truly devastating weapons crafted out of legendary components and they were certainly a force to be reckoned with in pvp, or if they were a bounty hunter, jedi had to fear them for sure.