From what I have seen(videos), Rift looks pretty good...the character creation looks great...but the lack of more unique races is a bit disappointing.
I played the beta for a bit and the character creation isn't very spectacular. At least I wasn't impressed with it any moreso than I was with WoW. There are a few improvements, but everyone kind of ends up looking the same. If only more companies would go with the Cryptic character design. Cryptic doesn't do much right, but they're very good at character creation.
The stylized "cartoony" world of WoW looks tons better than the "photorealistic" look of Rift, in my opinion. Rift may be technically superior, but I still think WoW looks better.