Personally I think the whole "rushed" feel thing came about because of the fact you didn't really have true "choice" or the ability to "effect" the game/story which the developers kept shoving in your face every time you booted up the game.
I mean the first 2 episodes were very dense and rich in character narrative/development making you as the player think about the long term and repercussions of your actions..like I honestly remember having a serious mental battle with the idea of going to the coast for a boat or staying at the motel fort (do I butter up kenny and feed the duck for a boat ride? Or do I side with the old geezer and his bitch daughter and ect..)
But they then must have realised too much of that type of interaction creates problems when the player MUST go to said location to progress the story in a pre-determined way...
Thus things started to feel washed out a little on episode 3 for me, and just plain weird by episode 4 as I felt more like I wasn't really making a difference (spent all game being butt buddies with kenny only to then have him act out of character and be a dick to me for no damn raisin!)
So by episode 5 I felt like it was (SHIT THE PLAYER'S PROBABLY CATCHING ON WRAP IT UP QUICK!).