Gear does play a part (eg a guy that's fully optimized his wh against a full recruit isnt going to be fun for the recruit) but its often extremely exaggerated and the battlemaster grind is sooo easy now.
Also as soon as someone has a main geared toon they start to gear there alts and send over legacy. My sorc was full wh bar implants and offhand at valor 50 .. ie as soon as he dinged 50. Also alot of the bad pugs people complain about ARE full wh as well so quite often it is a skill thing..
Not to mention the queues would die