having not played WoW a whole lot, but I did play Warhammer Online, RIFT is a very nice transition. I personally love the game, and regardless of the troll's saying "$5 or F2P in a year", I humbly submit that you're wrong.
Rift is going to be a successful game, I very much doubt it will see WoW numbers, but it will continue on as a profitable and very good game. The development team knows their stuff, and that's important.
I bought it, have been playing the beta's and loving it. Don't really care what others think, i'm having fun.