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.
Yes, I understand the three tiers of PvP armor we've always had, but unfortunately that is part of the reason we are losing fellow players and BW is losing customers. PvE and PvP always had an equal amount of tiers, a mirror system -- but why should the dev team, or us, be stuck on keeping the same broken system until the game shuts down? Hence the suggestions for improvements which could bring some people back and make PvP more fun for current ones. Unfortunately, without other people to play the game with, it's just a really expensive single player game. And to say it's fine as it is, well that's just being stubborn, even when faced with facts that PvP players don't agree with that, about a million of them.
And really, why is there even need to make new tiers of PvP armor? This is wasting resources they don't have. Why create EWH weapons? Have two tiers only, one free one you get handed at 50 and another you work towards for 3 weeks to a month to complete a whole set, WH. That's all it should take in my opinion. And leave it at those two sets, polish them, itemize them better and leave them be. They are not to be used in PvE due to the hidden stat limit, so they really are PvP only items that you spend one month per character on. Some folks will still spend a couple of months on full itemized WH. So if you JUST want to PvP, that's a half a year of work and you have 4 characters that are good to use in competitive PvP. They won't lose any customers over this, it's more realistic and promotes playing alts, instead of getting fed up with one character and quitting.
Hidden stats on PvE armor as well? Sure, why not. I don't think it necessary but if applying it to only one set would bother people, then it really makes no difference. PvE gear is already bad for PvP and you would get a free BM set, so wearing PvE gear in the WZs would truly be newbish, but why not.
The only reason for the idea of hidden stat that makes the armor ineffective in PvE is because BM is really not a bad set, and it's effective for leisurely questing. You don't want people who wear greens hit 50, just go get a free set of BM gear and never do PvP and just use it as an upgrade for PvE. That's why it needs a hidden stat on it -- you get free armor, but you get it for one reason, to use in PvP.
PvE, FPs and OPs are about teamwork and story, and enjoying the SW universe, sharing the cool background, figuring out the mechanics of the fights and ultimately being rewarded for it. A gear grind in ops is unavoidable and as an idea still works. Mirroring the system for PvP is amateur, PvP needs no crazy grind, it needs more even tiers of armor that create less of a gap and make everyone competitive.
And your last point, your figures make complete sense... if one can play 10 hours a day. I'd say an average it takes a half an hour to get one warzone pop and finish it. That's an hour for two wzs, for an average of 150 comms an hour, using your numbers. 10 hours of play a day, for 1500 comms or 500 ranked. Three days of that, comprising of an average 30 hours (this is someone's full work week at a job), and you can afford the cheapest WH item. The most expensive one will take 7 times longer than that at 3500 ranked comms. So for some people, who average only 75 a game, it will take them 21 days of 10 hours a day to get enough ranked for one EWH weapon. Three weeks of having a job. Factor in quest rewards and it's two weeks of a job. This is getting commendations quick and easy? I think we have different definitions of 'quick and easy'.
Thanks for your comments guys.