Cartel packs sound like the lock boxes from another scifi MMO.... they suck and are nothing but a money grab.
This is true. But people defend it because those items can be sold on the GTN. Wow, that makes me feel so much better....really. So people with money to gamble will make a killing on the GTN with what is to be sure some of the highest credit prices ever seen.
It's a rip off no matter how you look at it. As of right now, it is the only thing Bioware has done that has lost my respect for them. I love this game, but my respect for Bioware as a company and EA as a company has sunk to a dirty level. Not quite as low as Cryptic Studios, but well within a visual distance.