Forgive my Christmas Eve briefness, but allow me to play the advocate of the devil on the player's shoulder.
Firstly, the SW:G crowd is extremely niche, given how broad the market is today. They're vocal, sure. Particular on a game which many of them view to be the successor to their failed game. But these kinds of players, those willing to create their own content (and I count myself among them) are extremely rare, particularly in this business climate. Catering to this type of crowd would be high investment, I agree. But as SW:G so aptly demonstrated, it just isn't sustainable.
As for the MMO crowd, I ask a simple question - why are they here instead of WoW, Rift, Aion or dozens of other MMOs out there that do the exact same thing SW:TOR does, and usually better? The answer is your second point - story and setting. That is what sets SW:TOR apart from the rest of the genre. That is BioWare's strength. And that is what they have long since stopped playing to.
I'm not here to raid. I'm not here to grind dailies in any form. I'm not here to play out the exact same, repetitive and very often one-sided PvP matches day in and day out. Don't get me wrong - I'll partake in those activities. But they're simply filler. Needed filler, but filler nonetheless. There are other MMOs that do exactly what SW:TOR is apparently striving for with its endgame, with more polish and general quality. I tolerate these tropes of the genre because I am ultimately here for the story.
Is is feasible for development to focus on story, entirely? Of course not. That's not sustainable. But neither is catering exclusively to players that are playing other games already. Heck, even the most significant piece of post-release story that has actually materialized is simply content that was held back during beta - HK-51 and his questline has been around in the game files since the middle of closed beta. Story doesn't need to be the only part, but it needs to be a visible part of development going forward.
It hasn't been.
That needs to change.
What a great post, thanks and I can't add anything else here - I agree with you!