Recruit MK-2 is better in all aspects than Tionese gear. Better 2-piece set bonus, better stats, etc.
War Hero is on par with Columni, with some pieces being better than their Rakata coutnerparts.
It's after you hit the WH plateau, that you need to ditch the PvP gear completely for PvE gear.
Recruit sets don't have a set bonus. Also, Tionese is still better than Recruit for PvE. Less stats overall, but when you don't count the amount of expertise, the Tionese will be better. How you want to be geared if only thing you have are the free recruit set and the 99 tionese commendations: Use Recruit Earpiece, Implants, Wrists and Belt. Battlemaster Relics from the recruit-set. And the rest will be Tionese (it could be that you can't afford the whole set with the 99 comms, so fill out with recruit accordingly.)