I've seen 4 people in Tionese gear steamroll HMLI and 4 others in Black Hole gear fail on LR-5 consistently.
How is that not a perfect example of skill > gear?
There's a difference between "skill > gear" and "skill and gear are of varying comparative import across various fields of play being assumed to be present in roughly equal measure for content with an applicable reward". You're specifically pointing out one of the more egregious examples of a place where skill is of absolute primal import: if you can't handle the mechanics of HM LI, you're not going to clear it no matter how good your gear is. However, "skill > gear" is no more true than "gear > skill" since there are explicit times where, no matter how skilled you are, you're just not gonna be able to handle it in crappy gear: you can't clear NiM EC or HM TfB in an ops groups filled to the brim with unoptimized Tionese geared characters since you can't beat the enrage timers, the incoming damage would be too high, and the healers wouldn't be able to keep up.
TOR is not a game where gear or skill are arbitrarily intended to take absolute precedence over the other as a measure of whether you'll be successful or not. They're intended to work in sync. Nominally, your gear and your skill should be roughly commensurate (which is probably one of the problems that the OP believes should happen), but it doesn't always happen. Some of the best players will be handicapped by running with friends that just can't pull their weight and some of the worst will be blessed by highly skilled guildies that will carry them through anything and everything.
*However*, one thing to note about this is that gear can be fixed while it's quite difficult to "fix" skill problems, which is one reason why the "skill > gear" argument has some degree of merit: in a game where gear is so easy to acquire, especially since, for many players that play regularly, they're quite easily capable of having their gear outstrip their own skills, if you're looking for someone to recruit, gear matters less than the skill of the person because it's so easy to simply get that person gear (in a single night of running, I've seen fresh guildies go from Tionese/recruit starting gear to full or near-full Black Hole/Camp with Rakata filling out the rest without spending a credit).
Basically, the game requires both skill *and* gear to succeed at the top tier of content. The gear itself is almost laughably easy to get nowadays, so it's not a major concern. The skill, however, is harder to get (though sometimes I wonder how people can *not* understand simple concepts like "don't stand in the fire", "spread out", and "interrupt" or even how they can get to level 50, spend 2 months playing said class at 50, and *still* not have the slightest notion that using Tk Throw as a DPS Shadow is a terrible idea) and, as such, is generally held in higher esteem, not by innate importance based upon game design, as many people try to claim, but by its general rarity.