"You will be able to download and play Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ all the way up to level 50 for free, with gameplay restrictions that limit access to advanced features and group content."
So it seems the only reasons to get a physical copy for $9.99 now are:
1. Avoid a lengthy download
2. Includes 30 day subscription
3. Able to play the game and earn "Cartel Coins" during the next 3 months