Fresher than WoW and happily no dungeonfinder in sight...
Personally I'm playing Rift rather than WoW and thoroughly enjoying it.
You need to read the quest text and the interact with NPCs to get a feel for the world and the storyline.
If all you want to do is grind your way through levels, then it doesn't really matter which MMO you're playing.
I would recommend to anyone that they should give Rift a try for a month or two. It's quite different from WoW in the specifics, but the basics are close enough that anyone who has played any MMO can jump right in.