Nope I gotta disagree here. If they were progression based, they would have been tuned to T6 gear and rewarded T7 gear. They aren't. Purposeful gear gap built in there. The horse pulls the cart, not the other way around...
Try to sell it however you want, but most don't agree with this assessment.
Well, not at all. If BW started to sell Dreadguard/EliteWarhero gear wouldn't that be P2W by "most" as you queote? Yes it would be more universally agreed upon. It would enhance/fasten the progression of a player(s)... just as much as T7 is significantly useful to doing all the new content heroics which are the new level of progression introduced on 1.6. ( if not out right required for the average player). The last statement is partly opinion, you may challenge it, but the base stat increase from T6 to T7 is sufficiently large to make me feel is accurate.
To your analogy, consider that after every horse race you compete on, you gain attributes that help your performance for the next race ( The MMO progression case), and, just as in the case of gear, the cart you carry is where that performance is built on. Thus, in a somewhat humorous way, yes the cart pulls the horse... you just bought/payed for turbo-engines
Furthermore I would add that the new content tuned to T7 gear ( according your post, your opinion or fact, I can't back that myself) is what bring up even more discontent. Prior to 1.6, the space mini-game had progression; the 1.6 content is progression in terms of the step of difficulty but the one thing that is changed is how you obtain the gear (required or greatly helpful) to reach that progression.