There's nothing about animation that immediately makes it better than live action. A good cartoon will take just as long and cost just as much to produce as a decent live action show.
Not even remotely.
"A good cartoon" can have a budget anywhere between $100,000 to $500,000 dollars an episode based on the level of animation, post-production, and the salaries of any special voice actors. That's considerably cheaper than a live-action show, especially a Star Trek series, which these days probably starts
at $2,000,000 an episode.
Some animated shows with extremely high (i.e., movie-quality) production values can be in excess of $750,000 dollars an episode, but such shows usually have fairly short runs of only 6-12 episodes total.
As far as the time it takes to produce an animated series, it depends on the animation studio involved, but quite a few studios can produce 18-22 episodes of a show per year.
I've seen numbers that peg The Clone Wars at $1.2 million dollars an episode, which would total $2.4 million an hour. I seriously doubt live-action Trek could be done for that little.
Yep. And The Clone Wars
has a larger budget than most animated shows.