Yes , I agree. Always take the commendations over the gear because said commendations will get you better gear then the quest gives you as a reward 4/5 times.
Pretty much this.
Decent armourings+ mods+ enhancements= better gear in the long run and less time required on the planet. Later on it does get to be a chore to replace all your gears worth (especially if you DW) but in general its the way to go.
Exception to this is when you get enhancements or comms, I always go for the hancements.