I hate to say it, but I've never liked C&C... my roomie loves it and has let me play with all forms of it, and every single one just doesn't catch me. I think it's because it feels too linear to me. I never feel like it will let me be as crazy as I desire. Total Annihilation has, in my opinion, always been superior, but I don't want to start a flame war... I think it depends on the kind of strategy you're into.
Uh... and um... I guess you might have never played slash'em.
[warning! off topic!!!]
It's a simple turn based rpg... very retro flavors are available. I used to play it for 10 hours at a time while listening to beefy trance remixes and eating large bowls of cookie dough. Back when I'd play TM every day for hours at a time as well, everyone who chatted with me on icq knew there were only three buttons on my robotic body: play TM, play nethack, play slashem. ok ok... and mangband and crossfire as well. Man oh man, crossfire was hilarious fun right until you hit the wall where you had to dedicate way too much effort to continue leveling up. I also played a LOT of xpilot. And really, I feel like doing it again. It's such a great retro game.
[okay, getting back on topic]
More or less my parents forced me to go to sleep or get off the computer so they could use it for lowly things such as money management, email, and web browsing. I think a good rts should be like TA, but perhaps one problem with TA is that many of the games were geared at people who could afford 10 hours of game time per game. C&C has had shorter game times for me, at least, and so perhaps it'd be important for Hegemony to facilitate both long and short games well. Maybe that's asking a bit much, but if they had a level designer coupled with the game, I'm sure most people (including me) would be able to stretch the limits and make short and fast maps... assuming you can design the scenarios people get.
And please please don't mention Warcraft or Starcraft. I'm sorry... but once again, those just weren't that fun for me. Warcraft definitely had some awesome online play though.... I totally loved some parts of the single player too... but overall, I couldn't devote 100% because there simply was NOT the depth that I needed.