"Lack of urgency" in the main quest is probably the single best thing Pillars did
It seems this highly depends of personal taste, I guess. Ok, I haven't felt so much of "urgency" in main questline of PoE 1, neither in the PoE 2, as in some other productions. But still, this was troubling for me to justify doing sidequests, while I have so important things to do due to main story.
I wrote before, that Bethesda generaly write their games badly. But I have to admitt, that I really like what they did with main storyline of the Morrowind. There was the point, near the begining, where our hero was told that he/she should first gain some more experience, do some jobs for other factions, or as a freelancer, and then to get back. By this single thing, whole island was opened to our exploration. There was no that feel of urgency. Only when you were getting deeper and deeper into the main story, it was starting to get a pace. And I think this was good! :D
In PoE 1 main story "feels" relatively slow paced more less until the meating with Maerwald. From this point onward, our hero is in of desperate chace for it's sanity.
In PoE 2, well... there should be no spoilers here, but I would agree, that the pace is slower, and some events evem made my character to consider intentional delaying of finding Eothas. But still, again we fight for our life and our soul, and we are being blackmailed by the gods.
But I think, that PoE 2 main plot is indeed less "urgent"
And I like it. From other hand, it felt a little bit short, compared to PoE 1.
But aside of this, and some other concerns I mentioned earlier, I realy love both stories.