As a new player to Rift, my original plan was to hit 50 with 1 character this weekend so I would be "ready" for the expansion. It started off well enough and then I realised that in order to make the goal I was going to have to give up on the "fun" of leveling. So I've decided against it.
Honestly, and maybe this is just because Rift is all shiny-new, but I think Rift has the best leveling experience out there. It has the things I like about story-based MMO's like SWTOR, such as a zone story that is essentially telling the background of a group or particular nasty bad guy. These are things I personally need to get invested into the Lore of the world. Having a crazy boss doesn't do it for me unless I understand why I would want to fight him (and epic lewtz doesn't count). It also has aspects that I enjoyed in GW2, specifically the Zone Events and Rift Events that make me feel like I am in a dynamic world and not a static one. I've also enjoyed exploring the landscape and seeing what's over the next hill.
So sadly, I won't be making 50 before the expansion. But that's ok. Every once in awhile I need a reminder that I don't have a time limit on things like this, and rushing past a game's content really won't win me any sort of prize.
That being said, I'm still looking forward to investing into the Harbinger Soul tomorrow. I say this even though I freaked out the other day when I added a new Soul Spec and made a Stormcaller...and it hit me that none of my buttons are the same. I got scared and went back to Pryomancer... >_>;;