I agree, with PvE gear even tionese you have to earn it where as the PvPers get there starter gear for doing nothing, which also has a higher weapon/armor rating than tionese.
It also makes me a little mad that for mainhand columi weapons you have to either play a karaggas palace run (which ops can only be done once a week) with an 1/8 chance of grabbing it or LI HM which while nerfed very few will have the patience of carrying someone undergeared. With PvP you can get your mainhand BM which has higher weapon rating and not much different to stats than columi after 15-20 matches and that's not including dailies and if you play ranked 10 matches a day and you can have the war hero mainhand in a week which is far superior than the columi for less effort.
But at the end of the day there are a lot of PvPers in this "story driven" MMO, BW are trying to please them because they cry more which IMO BW shouldn't be doing, instead they should nerf the PvP gear so it's not really convenient for PvE so people don't get a free ticket to skip the grind.
Your mainhand is one out of twelve. I'm sure you can scrounge up the other eleven pieces to be able to do an OPs run. If anything, I found PvE gearing to be way easier than PvP, I wonder if that's why you get the free PvP set..