I think that the Stunlock terminology comes from the pre 1.1 days of Scrappers, back when the Shoot First knockdown was 3 seconds. I remember back then when you hit a target for a 3 second knockdown, waited a moment for resolve to drop, kicked them for 4, and then popped Disappearing Act to get yet another Shoot First into yet another 3 second knockdown. Now that was a stunlock.
These days, the term is just meaningless, as you rightly point out. I do know that some players get annoyed by the 30s CD on Dirty Kick, and they feel as if they are always being stunned for 5.5 seconds every time that same annoying Op/Scrap jumps them. But those players are also inexperienced, undergeared, and/or just plain bad. Our stunlock is basically identical to that of a Sin/Shadow. Our kick has a 30s CD. Their 4s stun has a 50s (or 60s) CD. Spike is a 2s stun with a 30s CD. Shoot First is a 1.5s stun that can only be used from stealth. When you average those out over the course of a fight, Sins/Shadows really have the same stunning capabilities as we do.
Right. In stunlock wars, the bubble has won.
Operative got a bad rep when people could stack a bunch of powerups and destroy people. But that isn't the case.