Not quite. Tanks and tank companions gear up pretty easily with planet comms (a dime a dozen if you're running daily FPS), but DPS and healers have it harder. Any given comm vendor is going to offer Guard and Commando armor one tier higher than any Skill or Might mod he carries. (And who in the world is using Patron? Why does it even exist? Even in PvP you want Cunning more than health.) I've been using Corso for DPS on my Scoundrel, since I'm leveling with a Vanguard friend of mine, and it's been a complete pain in the arse getting him geared out without constantly shipping mods across faction from my cybertech. He did in fact spend fifteen levels wearing the Esseles trooper chest, with me slowly sticking better mods in it until I had the social for the Balmorran gear I actually wanted him in. It was the first free heavy orange shell I came across, and it came with mods that were a major upgrade for him at the time.
Of course, I greeded for it. Because I'm not a total douchebag.
huh. I actually found tanking companions to be more difficult to gear as they are the ones that get mods of the lower level. heavy on endurance with some defensive stats - you are lucky if you find it at all. most recent character I was leveling - agent, Kaliyo at one point wore enhancements that were 10 levels lower then her actual level.
granted... I do use my cybertech to supplement the mods (mostly armoring, as it costs 7 coms, instead of 2), but before I could, you could often find those mods sold on GTN and worst case scenario - every planet has a mod vendor with green mods for affordable cost.
I tend to just greed most things while leveling though, unless aforementioned upgrade is also something I really want because of its looks. and if its not visible upgrade for my character - I ask before hitting need)