The desire for a LFG tool is to remove the cumbersome process of getting X people together, heading to Y location and doing Z. No one wants to spend (a lot) of time getting a group together, and many people don't want to be 'trapped' in Fleet waiting for a group to form. PvP is easier simply as you can go out, do quests and queue/PvP whenever to break up the play time.
You started well and showed your understanding of the issue at heart. You had my vote, until...
You can argue that LFG didn't do anything to wow, but I think you can look at how changes following the tool reveals that Blizzard had to keep enticing the system to the point it penalized guild/friend groups simply as they didn't 'pug' players. LFR pretty much is the pinnacle of 'gimme' in this regard.
Just exactly how did WoW "penalize"guild/group play because they didn't PUG? Blizzard Devs gave incentives to people for playing certain roles (e.g., Tanks) becasue tanking was (and is) a thankless task, with the majority wanting no part of it. There's nothing wrong with providing incentives to promote the less popular classes and roles, especially when the game is designed around the 'Holy Trinity' and one of the three is in short supply.
Aside, still the best laugh of general: "Group LFM Tank & Healer".
Yup, I agree with you. A workable solution is to institute a cross-server LFD/LF Ops tool.
I recognize people want to show up, and play 'anything' in the game, but I get the impression people don't want to invest into a community by talking, networking, grouping. If putting that effort out is too much, then you're getting exactly what you've worked for - nothing. I'm having a blast, doing Ops, PvP, etc. with a group of 15-20 people. Open up, say "Hi, nice to meet you.", run a flashpoint, and whisper the solid players if they'd like to run another or if you could add them to a friends list. Look them up politely later for other groups. It's not that hard.
Most people's first instinct is to go to friends and guildies for grouping. But that didn't work for WoW (a game with 11 million accounts), what makes you think it will work in SWTOR? The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again, and expect different results, right?
Get out of your shell people. You'll be amazed how competent playing and being polite will get you networking.
Dude, I'm in TOG (one of the largest guilds) and it's not easy to get groups going for FPs, Heroics, and Ops. The root cause isn't lack of social networking, it's lack of people wanting to do the same things at a particular timeframe. The LFD tool solves that problem by empowering people to do the things they enjoy, at the time of their choosing. It's a win-win for all but the "you got to play it my way" crowd.