Yeah deception is fun and can put out some serious damage when played right. It is true that even though I have yet to play an operative that they are different. Assassins really don't get an opener (KD from stealth) and our biggest damaging hits take time to build like VSx2 shock (fairly easy but cannot be done in two seconds) and discharge with 5 stacks. Also you have access to off heals in a dire situation. Cannot wait to start leveling one and I hope to start this weekend.
I think you will love it. Sad thing about lvling one, and maybe one reason there are so few, is that before lvl 40 they are pretty awful. Acid blade is pretty much a must. Especially with all the 16-17k people in 10-49 wzs right now.
When I leveled mine a few months back I went heals to 40 then started the fun.