I remember when my very first toon hit 50 and I was reading up on the different things I would need to do to get geared.
Doing dailies for grade 23 barrels, Story Mode Level 50 flashpoints before Hard Mode, etc., etc. The first few pieces of Tionese that dropped in a flashpoint were an upgrade for me. I remember when I won my first piece of Columi, it was an accomplishment. (I suddenly have the urge to write a children's book "My First Columi"
When Black Hole/Campaign gear was released it was very exciting to work on getting a full set.
Now everything is so easily obtained. Any new players that hit level 50 for the first time won't get the same feeling. Too bad, actually.