The nice thing about Star Wars is that it's a universe so many people are familiar with and are excited about.
Perhaps. I have to say that the games you mentioned give a lot of the setting to play with, that's for sure. But as someone who mostly GMs… meh. Star Wars always struck me as a tale of few people in a big galaxy that works as the background, but there already are maaaaaaany established people to go around. I made myself a challenge: write a basic plot for Star Wars game. Afternoon later I had a lot of crumpled paper and some generic adventure that could likely be solved by a lone Jedi made for mind-tricks. To contrast that I need maybe ten minutes come up with a good background for Star Trek adventure. Because you can do nearly anything and there's a good chance that if there's some good reason for moral, ethical, military or cultural conflict it will stick. Even adventures in human space can be interesting with some tinkering. I just can't do anything when at the same time I can point to the setting reason why X can't happen or why Y would be dealt with by Z-group that are dedicated to the cause. Which is 99% of Star Wars after doing even the most basic research, as it turned out for me.
I've developed certain distaste for it, to a point where I have stopped making SW references completely. Sometime ago I was talking on r/rpg and said something along the lines of "this is the major weakness of people thinking that toppling the Evil Ruler of the Setting will make everyone just turn around. That's the reason why the Lawful-Evil types have hierarchy! When Emperor Palpatine was killed, surely all of their galaxy-spanning military didn't just make a turn and joined rebels because there was someone next in line." to end-up having dozens of people saying stuff like "Well, actually he wasn't killed; it was a replica of him and Palpatine was resurrected in some tank of liquid made out of force, spice and everything nice!" and even more links to wookiepaedia :/.
The more I think about it, the more I think I might need to give Pathfinder a shot.
I don't fully share your opinion on 3.5, but that's the matter of preference. The worst thing that anyone I know and/or played with had to say about it was "it mixes with 3.5 in my head too much and I don't think I want to try getting used to a slightly different system when there's one I already know really well". On the upside, GMs usually remarked that it was somewhat easier for them to make more balanced encounters and add various 'traps' when they wanted to make enemies have the turf advantage. That all said, to no-one I quoted or referenced D&D was their first or main system. It could prove to be annoying to you, I will no deny that. But I would encourage you to try it. Even if you would not find it to your liking, porting it back to 3.5 is not going to be some impossible task (although it can destroy some particular build, but aside of munchkins that's hardly a problem to anyone).
Oh, and sorry for 'bailing' on the story thread. I don't know if I'm sick again or what, but this whole weekend it was exhausting to even go to the kitchen and make some food. This stream of consciousness post took me nearly an hour to write and I already feel sleepy. :/