Bubbles are very much needed. Especially for the RP servers, which are 99% free of RP due to the lack of chat bubbles at the moment.
This is what I'm noticing all of the time as well. Even though I pretty much do RP 24/7 in any other MMORPG, I didn't have any RP experience yet even though I play on an RP Server. I tried to with my Guildies but we pretty much gave up on it, because so much was going on in the chat window that you just oversaw most of the conversations.
Since RP and social interaction is pretty much the main reason why I play MMORPGs, I just can't imagine to play the game in the long run. I rather return to LOTRO in which the quest might not be that engaging as in TOR, but I can play without paying a monthly fee because of my lifetime VIP membership there and I have all the RP features that I need (overhead text, a bunch of emotes which are pretty much all animated, a world that I like equally to Star Wars world).