No, it's a great game.
First off, it takes a while to beat sure but it doesn't take absurdly long. If an RPG got over like 45 or 50 hours then I'd start to get pissed but up to that point, as long as the story is a good and compelling one, it's worth it. RPGs take considerably longer to beat than other games because they dont have as much replay value, unless youre a diehard who wants to go through it all again just to see what you missed. I love RPGs, but Im not like that, once through with one, I wont play it again until i've basically forgotten it. The story and characters of ff8 are very compelling. I don't remember exactly how long it took me to beat FF8, but I'd say like most of the Final Fantasy games it was 30 - 40 hours, which for this type of game is not outrageous.
As for the gameplay, there's a couple things to keep in mind. The junctioning and allocating magic system is a good one, but it's a little bit of a bitch to learn, and you HAVE to learn it. The thing about this game that makes micromanaging your characters well so important is that unlike other Final Fantasys, the enemies level up as your guys level up. In FF7, if you couldn't beat a boss, you could just go back fight a bunch of scrubs level your characters up and then go beat the boss. In FF8 every time you level up so does that boss. So bottom line there, learn the system and use it. Long as you know your shit and you play smart this game's challenging but not TOO challenging. Flip side of the coin is that youre never gonna run into an enemy that just kicks your ass cuz you havent leveled up enough, which is something that happens often in many RPGs.
FF8 has the best mini-game of any RPG ever. You can play the card game throughout FF8 against all kinds of different people. Get badass cards from people and they pay off in battle too.
That's all, very good game, here's my hierarchy of Final Fantasy games
FF7 > FFtactics > FF8 > FF6 > FF10 > FF4 > FF9 > FF10-2 > FF5 > FF11