It's not difficult to start, but the learning curve is a steep one. It doesn't have to be 'quite' as grind-tastic as some MMOs unless you are into mining etc, but any MMO is going to be pretty heavy on the grind side.
Graphically, the game is gorgeous, you can only control one ship at a time, but can form corporations where you make fleets out of members ships. Fleet battles used to be fun, but the sheer volume of players on Eve tends to make them more of a lag-fest than a blast-fest these days, but that's only really applicable for the large battles, inter-corp battles are usually ok.
It's a complex game, and it keeps getting more complex, that's both one of its charms, and one of its problems.
The thing about MMO's is that they can also, if you are not careful, finally be used as a justification for feature creep.