Yeah, I was always more interested in leveling through zones to see the content, especially when much of it changed with cata.
Taken on it's own, pandarens aren't too bad, but when you throw in the pokemon battles and total revamp of the character mechanics things don't look good to me. It's interesting you mention SW:tor. I've played in 2 of the beta weekends now. Once the pandera expac comes out you'll have to play SW:TOR to get more of a "classic WoW" experience than you'll get in WoW.
And if you like questing through zones for the story, then SW:TOR will
blow you away compared to WoW. It's much more involving. From the moment the game starts you feel like the central character in a good book. It rocks.