I watched someone's live spore stream the other night where they were playing peacefully (their creature went around charming everyone). It did look long and tedious. True, if they could charm everyone 100% of the time, that wouldn't be too fun, either. It also seems like your brain grows after a set amount of time (?) - I really don't want to be rushed when I want to take my time slowly evolving my creature. When creatures lay eggs, evolution (brith) seems instanteneous - not like when Wil Wright was showing off the game and creatures tried to attack his eggs (maybe the guy was playing on easy).
From what I've read, and seen, I'm also concerned about the space stage. I don't want to be so preoccupied with trading spice, or defending a territory, that I don't get to experiment on planets (will I even be able to play as one of those creatures? That's a big question for me.).
I've been watching this game since GDC 2005, however, my interest has very, very slowly waned as they started toning things down (GDC 2005 graphics look so nice compared to the cartoonish graphics - and there's apparently no modding capabilities!), removing things, etc. I'm almost at the point where I might as well wait a year for expansion packs, or rent/borrow the game from someone to see what it's like before I buy it.