Anyone who wants this to be an apples to apples with WOW is fooling themselves. This is a very classic BioWare questing experience. They are going to tell stories that involve your character. Not just give you 200 quests for an area and tell you go to complete and come back.
As far as time spent...yeah it is going to be slow. They estimate around 200 hours of content to get to level 50. So if you are wanting a quick leveling experience like the joke it is in WOW, this is not your game at all. I agree there is a good deal of foot travel which can be annoying, but I personally don't really mind it.
At the end of the day you can't compare the leveling system in SWTOR to the one in WOW. They are completely different. SWTOR is actually setup as a MMORPG, WOW is gives you the option to just completely ignore the RPG part of the game completely.