One thing I don't really understand is why a race like the togruta (Ashara Zavros's species) wasn't included.
I think it's simply that they couldn't include all possible species at launch, and they had a vote to decide on which ones to put in, which would be easiest to design different facial features for, outfits for, etc.. I am pretty sure Togruta will make it in at some point, especially considering 1) they're already in the game and 2) they're very popular.
The whole notion about the main characters in the movies all being human misses the point. This is an MMO. Not a movie. And in an MMO, any time you sacrifice customization for cinamatics, you lose the spirit of the genre entirely.
Which can translate into people leaving.
Well, not necessarily. WoW launched with the absolutely most dismal customization I've ever seen, and they've only marginally improved it with allowing people to change hair and transmogrify gear in more recent times. 25 man raids back before Cataclysm was like an army of clones. Yes, you can be some really different looking races now, but good luck distinguishing yourself from everyone else that plays that same race.