I have also paid for beta access.
The game is NOT fun. It's a fucking disaster.
First of all, what's good: The visuals, audio, UI, graphics, etc. Everything related to how the game looks and feels is top-notch. It suckers you in that way.
What's bad: The gameplay.
Oh lord the gameplay. In one word: Shallow. It's like a pile of disjointed minigames. Everything is "there" in the sense of a checkmark on a list, but it is not there in the sense of "I actually want to play this."
And the game is monetized out the ass.
For the longwinded bits, read below:
Combat: Like your typical "spacesim", AI is easy to kill, and between players - whoever has the biggest most expensive ship is the winner. Skill doesn't enter the picture because ships are not sidegrades, they are direct upgrades. The incompetent player with 1 million credits will always beat the skilled noob in his sidewinder, no exception. The combat brings nothing new to the genre and lacks serious complexity. (They have a good idea with their stealth system, but it's tacked on rather than a core concept in dogfighting like it needs to be) In spite of all these problems, the combat is probably the best/most fleshed out portion of gameplay and the one that can be legitimately fun for awhile.
Mining: In every game I have ever played, mining has been an exercise in tedium. This game is no different. You shoot an asteroid with a laser until it pops out a rock that you scoop up. Repeat ad nauseum.
Money: Get this out of the way quickly, everything you do - mining, combat, missions, trading - earns you next to nothing. To put it into perspective, the most expensive ship in the game was the Anaconda at 150 million credits (after every stage of beta they increased its price, who knows what it'll be post-launch). Your average mission earns you 15,000cr and takes about 5-30 minutes to complete. If you are extremely dedicated you could probably earn ~100,000cr/hr (more is possible with a good traderoute and a lot of cargospace, but this is hard to find now). It'll take a good year of playing multiple hours per day, to afford the most expensive ship. Then the upgrades to that ship will double or triple its cost, at the least. There were comments by Braben (co-creator) [archive link in case reddit deletes the post as they are known to do with touchy subjects] that the game is going to come with a cash shop. Considering the grind and the comment about the cash shop for credits, I can understand why they wanted to get rid of the offline singleplayer: They don't want people modding the game to get what they paid for.
Trading: It's really just hauling goods, and it's rather boring. There is a 15 minute video here which shows almost the entirety of trading gameplay. (Not including hours spent trying to find a decent traderoute) You fly back and forth, earn a few thousand credits for the trouble and that's that. There used to be a trading calculator available on the forums - you downloaded it, it would check the trade good prices wherever you docked and give you a centralized database from everyone else's information which allowed you to pick the best trade routes. People were using it to make boatloads of cash and Frontier, failing to think of a way to counter this tool by making trade interesting, instead banned it.
Exploration: You literally jump into a system and hold down a button for 5 seconds. Your ship "pings" everything nearby and if its newly discovered, it gets added to the exploration catalog and earns you 1,000-10,000cr (depending on number of planets/stars you found and only after returning to a space station). You can also fly close to the stellar object to do a detailed scan - but it takes a long time to fly around a system and the reward is peanuts. Maybe 500cr per planet. It's faster to jump to the next system (of which there are billions) and ping again to discover whatever is close to the star.
Travel/Supercruise: As cool as it is to fly around a star system, it's too time consuming. Moving between space stations in adjacent systems - or even within the same system is a minimum of 5 minutes. See the trading video above. You do it enough times, it rapidly loses its appeal.
Missions: Just basic fetch quests. There's a mission BBS, you either move goods from A to B, or kill something. Payout is, once again, crap. There are no objective markers to point you to where you need to go, either. Get a mission to kill some guy (AI) in your system? You're stuck wandering around for hours to find him. Semi-related to missions are wanted warrants - players and AI can be wanted for crimes, if you kill them you get to collect the bounty. However, you need to dock at a station and turn in the bounty to earn it. It's very common in the bigger battles to have a dozen bounties, only to get killed by some AI (Friendly or not) accidentally ramming you. When that happens you lose every bounty you collected and all that time you spent fighting to earn credits is completely wasted.
Multiplayer: It's primary existence is always-online DRM. For a game that's supposed to be focused around multiplayer it's shocking how piss poor it is. It's difficult to send friend requests, the organization of your friends list is obtuse compared to the slick UI everywhere else. You cannot speak to more than one person at a time (if you have a group of friends, you're best using third-party sofware like mumble), and the text is shoved into a corner where it's often ignored as it shares space with random AI chatter. Should someone you try to talk to actually see your message, it is not made clear to the player how they can actually even respond. There is no efficient way to trade between players (dropping/picking up cargo, time consuming, and it has to be done away from the station). Each solar system is instanced to 32 players max, and the instances are built up in a peer-to-peer network, so your connection is always shaky. It's common for people trying to play together to get put into different instances all the time. Player interaction is essentially non-existent, there is literally no reason to ever work together with someone as nothing offers equal rewards to BOTH players, and finally - due to the size of the player space, you will essentially never run into another player outside the noob systems. (A few tens of thousands of players spread out across billions of stars in the galaxy)
It has become increasingly obvious as time has gone on that Frontier intends to rip off their customers and treat them like glorified money pumps than actual people or players. Everything about this game feels like it was designed with the freemium "skinnerbox" design in mind. There's always that everpresent desire to upgrade your ship for bigger numbers, and the illusion that doing so will make the game more fun than it is right now.
Obviously the normal gameplay has to be almost fun, so it leaves the player wanting just that little bit more to make it fun - and that little bit more will come from the cash shop. Already there is talk of new DLC ships, there are DLC skins that were released for sale while in the beta (at $3-$5 each, one skin applies only to one ship type - so you have to buy multiple times for all your ships to have that one skin. Insane), and it was recently announced that beta players/backers will get a special "pass" to visit sol. There will apparently be other solar systems that are "restricted" this way, and you'll either have to grind for access, or presumably, buy a pass in the cash shop.
Oh and if that isn't enough, there's a stipulation in the EULA that the customer agrees to in-game advertisement, as if the rest of it wasn't enough. There are billboards that fold up/down every time you take off and you have to sit and wait for them for 5-15 seconds every time. No advertisements as yet, but it's obvious where they're planning to put them.
Stay the fuck away from this game.