Actually, the gear progression is fine. Get to Lvl 50, do HM FP's and get Columi gear. Do HM EV/KP and get Rakata gear or do SM TFB and SM EC to get Rakata gear.
I understand what you're saying, but understand that HM EV/KP are much easier than EC or TFB in that regard, and to not be able to even inch your way slightly closer to better gear after doing the harder runs seems a bit silly.
I'm not advocating for free give-aways for the top notch gear, but groups and guilds will run EV and KP and not bother with EC since the reward is better for the easier route, and TFB SM groups will become available only as pugs once guilds get the fight strats down. If you want players (geared or not) to try these runs then you have to add the little carrot of reward at the end for them to strive for.