There is, its called success vs failure. Death is a feedback loop to tell you you didn't succeed at something, Look at the PvP design in this same game. No repair costs, but death still has implications.
Between the scaled time limit to respawn and the fact that if you die you failed at what you are doing, that is sufficient feedback for most people to choose to avoid doing it.
If you die a lot, then look at why you are dying, think of other things to do to increase your chance at success and then execute it.
And they give many MANY ways for anyone to handle any situations.
Group wiping, figure out why.
Someone screwing you over, remove or fix the problem.
Group not geared enough? Don't run that flashpoint/operation/heroic and go gear up.
Its not that hard.