Well for starters I felt there was a sore lack of actual multiplayer. The trading grind was expected, nothing particularly nasty about it imo. It just seemed like the end-game was more shallow than the NPC interaction. Faction system looked like filler content so I didn't really fiddle around with it too much. The exploration system was a double edged sword, and maybe one of the few worthy things of actually doing. However, just getting to be able to explore undiscovered systems is a huge grind in itself. You're basically grinding just to literally spend hours of your time traveling. lol. And then yeah, traveling was a PITA all the way from entering supercruise to slowing down to a nav point
I guess one of the bigger issues for me was the rate of progression given time played. Travel alone just kills so much of your time. I work and go to university. Maybe I have 3 hours to throw at gaming one night. If I choose ED i will likely spend 1,5/2 of those hours staring at my screen in supercruise, because if I don't look out for interdiction attempts from NPCs (or the occasional player if you're in a hot tiny patch of space) I might get killed. Like what the fuck dude. It gets old. It also makes death (which is inevitable unless you're meticulous about everything) so much worse because you'll have to spend more time traveling to re-grind.
A game is supposed to be a game. After a while ED feels like monotonous work for no wages.