Well, well, well we've been on a break for 5 months or so but we're now back together - I'm playing Star Wars: The Old Republic again and oh how things have changed.
The biggest of these is that it's now Free to Play**, which I'm sure has brought a good few people back to the game after the shinyness of release wore of and players left in their thousands after the game was left wanting on broken promises. With a F2P account however you are limited to what you can do, see this comparison table to get an idea of how limiting it is. That being said if you really are limited in your available game-time then it may be ideal for you.
I decided, with a few e-friends to pick up things on Empire as after playing the Republicans (I gave them that name!) we found the character story-lines much more enjoyable on the baddy side, and hey, who doesn't like electrocuting people...
I'm currently getting to grips with gearing up my Juggernaut in the new kit that's available post the F2P transition. I've nearly completed by War Hero set and once that is done I'll begin the "Elite" War Hero set (must have taken ages to come up with that name) as you can't get the Elite without first obtaining the lesser set.
I have subscribed for a month and will assess the situation after that to see if I'm still enjoying it, but as things stand I am. They have added a little more PvP content to the game, albeit a sole new warzone but it is enjoyable and there's always something to do when you're playing an MMO with friends or have to grind out gear....
** In my eyes you're severely handicapped as a F2P player only.