Except that Rakata should be compared to Battlemaster (58 v 58) while War Hero should be compared to Black Hole or Campaign (61 v 61).
I'm willing to bet there are faaar more players with full War Hero than with full Black Hole/Campaign.
I know this stat is probably WAY out of date by now, back at the Guild Summit, wasn't it something like only ~40% of the population has run an operation, much less cleared it on HM/NiM/doing progression. If that is still the trend, which I think it is, that right there explains why PvP gear is easier to attain. There's no limit to the number of warzones you play (except maybe your patience), while there is a limit to how often you can weekly run an operation. Also, you can queue for a warzone solo and get matches in a fairly timely manner, something that isn't really possible for PvE (I don't have the patience for running pug operations unless there are people I trust organizing it...after running into a Shadow Tank in Sage DPS and Guardian Tank gear, never again).
That's not to say that the PvE gear curve is difficult, though. It just takes more time to accomplish and for those who do, you can literally skip the Tionese, Columi, and even Rakata tiers. If you do run an operation and get lucky drops, you can accidentally be geared in as little as one night.