Still not buying into this part of your argument. Note that your other points I agree on so this is not a personal attack.
There's a big difference between "significantly useful" and "required".
However it's decribed (I don't care to call it P2W either), forcing players to buy gear in advance of playing released content (in the Cartel Store, by grinding, or any other method) by purposely inserting a large gear gap is a perversion on how progression is supposed to work and is wrong ihmo.
If allowed to get away with this, EA may very well introduce "Super Duper Cartel Armor" with the Makeb expansion that will be best in game when that releases. Of course, they will make it possible (but prohibitingly painful) to grind for the same way these T7 parts are.
I think we may be on the same page actually . I believe there is a limit to how far is appropriate to drive sales of items through the Cartel Market. It varies from person to person as to what that limit is. Personally, my limit is around core progression ( PvP and PvE) and to what degree Cartel Market sales would appear to influence game design. It is a personal gauge, but somewhere around there is where I would say I had enough. Certainly, if I were a fan of space missions and felt they were a significant part of my SWTOR gaming, the introduction of purchasable T7 coupled with the level of difficulty ( I hear) of the new content would have rapidly driven me to unsubscribe.
From a business stand, BW also has to find what that limit is in terms of the revenue from purchases vs. the loss/fluctuation of subscriptions.
I personally think we have had P2W since 1.5, but prefer not even use that term since it is loose, derogatory, inflammatory and non conductive to dialog. To me it is all about a company shifting business models poking into costumers to see how far they can go and were to stand. Our wallets more than our direct feedback will be in the end ( my opinion) what drives where/how we end up.