In a normal sport, such as Tennis, time played is not being measured. Although time played does increase one's skill, it still has that "skillcap" or threshold that every person has - and that's what's being measured. Because let's face it, some people have genetics that make them stronger or faster than I am, whilst I may be more intelligent (No irl rerolls, so if they get fotm it sort of sucks for everyone else ._.).
The idea is that this personal skillcap afffects the measured performance skill as a function of time played - to put it another way, time played is more like your input while skillcap is the function, and lastly your performance based on your skill and time played. However, Personal skill in a real sport such as tennis works with the time played instead of simply working side by side like it does in swtor.
Well, I'm glad you have (hopefully) dropped the G2W is equal to P2W argument. Now we're off topic of the orginal point, but down to the main issue.
As you mentioned with Tennis, time isn't measured but rather "skill." Time effects the level of skill, all the way up to a natural "skill cap." I couldn't agree more.
Yet I think you lost the point when you got to genetics. You compared genetics to what we would call "class" in this game, where as I would supply that your physical body in a real life sport is akin to your gear in an MMO. You and I may have the same basic reflex and same intelligence for strategy/tactics, but our bodies will differ. There are genetic traits yes... but the amount either one of us has prepared our bodies will highly influence our chances of winning. If you are a fit, active, and well nourished player and I am an overweight, out of shape, burger guzzling player, our genetics and basic reflex/intelligence no longer matters. Chances are, you will beat me. You will be able to go longer and demand more from your body. Health is a measure of time and the choices you made in that time.
Personally, I think BW shot itself in the foot by adding too many tiers and augmentations. The problem you're describing isn't gear exactly, it's the length of the gear gap. I don't think anyone would argue that recruit vs. augmented WH isn't even a contest, unless the WH is brain dead. Yet BM vs. WH is much more comparable, and augmented BM vs. augmented WH is competitive. I think progression can be good, and it provides rewards for completing tasks. The problem you have, is that the tasks take too long for your liking.
Edit: This isn't a jab at you, but it always amuses me when people say "any moron can grind." If anyone can do it, it really shouldn't be a problem. =P More importantly, those with skill will grind fasterm once they've hit the competitive part. 140 comm win is greater than > 80 comms lose.