So as a quick disclaimer I am only level 14 so what I am about to say may be my inexperience talking
I think wow has really ruined peoples perceptions of leveling in an mmo. Lets face it wows leveling has been terrible since the beginning only getting slightly better but frankly still being bad. This has led to people being afraid of leveling and just wanting to blow through it as quickly as possible to get to end game. This got me thinking. In any other type of game do we rush to the ending as fast as possible or do we savor the experience? I know I savor the experience and soak up all the information I can. Here enters swtor. I'm finding the leveling not only not grindy but thoroughly enjoyable. I'm moving slower than I ever have in an mmo and most SP games. I want to learn more about the story and I could care less when I hit cap. And the best part is when I hit cap its an mmo so I have end game content.
TLDR: In Swtor leveling is an important part of the game just like end game, don't ruin the experience for yourself by rushing to endgame.