I'm a little late to the party, but I've just started playing the Star Wars Galaxies.
It's not the greatest but it does do a few things really well. They didn't lock out major features just to include them as progress rewards. I'm only level 13 and I've had a Z-95 Headhunter that's capable of hyperspace travel for quite some time.
I don't have to catch the space bus until level 40 simply because they needed something cool to unlock on a milestone level.
I don't mean to sound like a brat with no attention span, but ever since I got my first mount in World of Warcraft I've been unable to play on the low levels. The game just can't hold my attention when I have to run across the countryside for ten minutes just to kill goats in a cave, then walk another ten minutes back to where I started to get told to go back out there and kill an elite goat.
I actually follow the quest plots in SWG because I don't have to gather as many quests for an area as possible and do them all at once. I can do the quests one by one and not waste three hours walking.
That said, the game is really dated and the engine is pretty bad. I don't think I'll play longer than a month or two. So anyone know of any other sci-fi MMORPG's that let you fly spaceships and own droids without pouring in weeks of effort?