Really, I think the issue is that basically, when you ding 50, all the gear you have accumulated for 49 levels becomes, except possibly for cosmetic choices (and your level 49 augments), completely and utterly worthless.
I believe this is the nature of the beast.
Once you reach level 50, you can either level an alt or run flashpoints and operations.
Bioware has to get you to keep playing to make money. One common method is the gear grind.