Well then there's either a new and unintentional bug that has been introduced, or the number you threw out is complete BS. I just went on my level 36 sniper and did a test PvE death, just a tad bit over 1k, which is about what he earns from killing a few mob groups.
Let's compare apples to apples, please?
What is your sniper's gear? Which are his orange, modded pieces? What level mods do you have in them?
On my Shadow, I have orange gear in every slot down the right side plus weapon, offhand, and bracers. Every trinket in every piece requires level 25-29 to equip. No pieces have augment slots or, obviously, augments.
If your Sniper is not similarly equipped with 8 orange, moddable pieces of gear with level-appropriate items in every slot, your test is interesting but insufficient to call BS on my experiences.