I don't mind playing important figure, frankly I can't imagine myself playing some character with lower stature than Sith Warrior, atm. Can't say how it is on Republic, but I haven't heard or seen too much praising on Empire side. Not in a way that it would annoy me.
it is absolutely in the opposite direction, but, on the same level on the sith side :
a group of totally self-centered, bloodthirsty, manipulating, hierarchical people, but, for some reason the existence in between sith/empire and its factions/prominent figures is way beyond harmonious. bar a few side quest stories or dialogue options, the sith side seems as if they are not sith/evil, but as if holy roman empire or any random aristocratic empire of earth's own history.