Honestly I don't really care about this so-called "reputation" of terrible PvP. I'm having fun doing it, and when the day comes that I'm not having fun anymore, I'll leave the game.
Is it going to stop Free to Play people from joining?? Hell no, free is free, and people love free stuff. I'm sure that a potential F2P'er is NOT going to be sitting at their house contemplating signing up for a FREE account when suddenly they have this epiphany: "Oh NOOOO, I heard that SWTOR has this terrible reputation for PvP. I've changed my mind. I don't want to play this FREE game now because I'm SOOO influenced by some nameless entity or article on the web. I better go out and PURCHASE a game now."
So to sum up the answer . . . . . . . No, not at all.
There are many f2p games with better reputations competing for peoples time.