^From what I've heard, one of the main complaints about the game has consistently been "the end-game content is arse." Indeed, I've heard from countless sources that the only real attraction is the story...which from what I gather pretty much ends when you hit Lv50.
That's really the cry of the vocal minority. And it really has to do more with the quantity over the quality. But it's been my observation that that argument is really fueled by ex-WoWers who expect TOR to have the same amount of PvE endgame as WoW and it's (four?) expansions.
In reality though, if you compare the amount of endgame content to other MMOs that have come out in the last few years (STO, Rift, Aion) TOR has substantially more to do.
As far as the quality goes, I admit I haven't experienced a lot of it as I'm primarily a PvPer, but what I have played has been nothing short of excellent.
Either way, the fact remains that (depending on how many characters you have) most of you time playing this game will probably be spent on levelling and because of the restrictions, F2P players are likely to spend more time doing this than subs.
Nope. I know it seems that way now, but the truth of the matter is, in a typical MMO character's lifespan, he only spends about 10% of his life leveling. Granted this game is the anomaly, but you're still only looking at about 15-20% at most. And of course, more for F2Pers.
But the average amount of time it takes for a sub to ding 50 is two weeks to a month. The lifers can do it under a week. And even casual players can do subsequent characters in much less time with legacy stuff.
The actual fastest way to level in terms of exp/minute is doing space missions. If you take all the exp bonuses, and have an alt with c-tech to ensure you always have the best parts, you can level to 50 in about 30-40 hours of play time. It's the most tedious thing on Earth, but I've done it.
PvP is about the same if you have a premade. Pugging will take a lot longer.
Anyway, once you get to 50 there's so much to do. Obviously, some are only interested in doing the story modes, and you can get those done in a couple of nights.
But if those who really play the game the way it was meant to, have to max their crafting, get BiS gear (either PvE, PvP, or both), get all the achievement stuff, finnish grabing any crons they missed, completing the codex, maxing your social stat, and so on. All that stuff takes months. And that's if you DON'T do dailies every day--and you will. And the dailies and weeklies will go on indefinitely, even once you've "maxed out" a character. You don't do them every day then, but you'll still keep up on them semi-regularly.
And then they raise the cap and you start the process all over again.