I think that the fact that to be a "AAA" MMO nowadays, that you have to cater to the most people possible. It is a bit sad that TOR seems to have been developed for the masses rather than the gamers. I do not mean that as a knock on TOR, but I do believe that games like this could benefit from targeting an audience and going after them rather than trying to sweep everyone under one game. EVE excels at this.
I absolutely love the story in TOR. I love the cutscenes and I love trying to win my conversation choice in multiplayer conversations. I am a big fan of the chosen classes. What I don't like is that we are all the "hero".
In a game like EQ, you felt as if you were one of MANY denizens of that world who were fighting to end (or expand) the evils in that world. I am more of a fan of that than being "The Chosen One". However, TOR does do a great job in the character story of making you feel like the Chosen One.
I think I typed my response at the same time you were typing yours. I very much agree with your points. I think SWTOR does the story very well. I know not everyone thinks so, but I do and I enjoy the story very much, even the story in the ops and the flashpoints. I've had many, many, many hours of fun playing alts and seeing different class stories, and doing light and dark side characters. It would be nice to be able to make a character that was "part" of the struggle rather than the central character in it, but everything has its downsides.
I definitely agree about the fact that AAA MMOs have to cater to the mass market. There's too much money on the line not to have to do so. MMOs take years to develop and many don't even make it onto the market. So you have to try to cater to as many players as possible, so we see fewer games that cater to certain niches of gamers.