You gain certain bonuses based on benchmarks you hit in the first game. I believe if you had something like 100,000 credits or whatever earned you a good chunk of cash to start with in the second game. You also start at level 5, are given a percentage of various resources to start with (which is moderately helpful, but not overly so). It's really not that hard to make money or mine resources quickly.
Bonus talents are stripped from the character. I think my original Infiltrator had something like thirteen skill tree branches, and now she has about half that. However, I notice that you can use resources to unlock a way to get your Shepard to learn new bonus talents from their squadmates.
In all... I think the perks are nice, but the personalized game play is a far better reason to import an ME1 character.
[SIZE="1"][color="Pink"]"There are worse things in the world than serving the whims of a deadly sex goddess." - Zevran[/color][/size]