1 - No, the "recruit" set should always be upgraded to keep in par with the current sets. So right now it should be the old Centurion sets. When the full set of E-WH comes out, then the recruit set should be upgraded to BM.
2 - No to free BM, just upgrade recruit gear to stay in line and a "Hell no!" to your "hidden stat". PvP armor is already at a disadvantage in PvE settings, there is no point in making it even worse. Unless of course you want to apply a similar "hidden stat" to do the same for PvE armor used in PvP...
3 - No, getting commendations is quick and easy. If you do nothing but the dailies and weekly, you will gain 1k of each. Then average in about 75 a game over 21 games (figuring in some wins for weekly) and you get another 1500ish commendations. You can get two BW and 1 WH every two weeks doing almost nothing.
Agreed, it is too easy to get Battlemaster gear even if you only do your dailies. The moment you remove the reward for participation is the moment you lose 99% of the PvP players, at which point we will have to constantly see "Que up for WZ" in the fleet, and thread whining about how few people are actually playing in the warzones.