I'll have to look into Ryzom, but a quick glance at the website makes it look interesting for sure.
I wouldn't want to mislead you and say that I don't have nostalgia for SWG, as well, because I do. I downloaded and played it again for free for a bit when they offered it, and it was alright, kind of fun, but more like a buggy WoW clone now. Space was still awesome, but the class system and all that...eh, I just really want to see a really well done free form system.
I don't think that SWG is getting closed down anytime soon, especially with that info you gave, Overlord, but at the same time, I think that the consolidation is the writing on the wall. I wouldn't expect it to last a couple years after the new MMO at best.
I wanted to be a Jedi in pre-CU SWG too, everyone did. It wasn't the goal, but it was something that you hoped would happen. Then it got easy and then everyone was one. It's not as big, from what I saw since it's a class now, but it just takes away some of the flavor of the period, in my opinion. But in the new MMO, go for it, because it makes sense.