I realized that my I had played another MMO before SWG..
Graal Online. Haha, it was originally called Zelda Online, it's a total ripoff of the Zelda: Link to the Past turned into a MMO. I was in elementary school playing it and I would wait like 10 minutes for my 56k modem to connect to the servers.
Graal Online. Suddenly everything about you is perfectly clear to me. :] I played Graal for years, I was an FAQ and eventually the Game Coordinator Admin. It wasn't even a game, so much as an online chat room in a Zelda-esque world. What a waste of time, except for this really hot chick I met on there.
My first true MMO was EQ, but I got bored after 2 hours and quit. So I'll say FFXI. Best time I've had playing an MMO, largely in part because of the RPGFan Linkshell. As almost everybody has said, I don't think I can ever duplicate the feeling I had when playing the game. I still remember the intro music as the camera panned over Valkurm Dunes. Good times.