the problem with your "solution" is that everyone will be stuck wearing the same fugly end game gear that plenty of people hate so much to begin with
Sure it avoids the repair costs, but at the cost of being stuck in fugly gear. I know i worked really hard & spent lots of credits to find gear that i really liked wearing.
Yep. My 'Dread Scout' wearing slinger pays about 18k per wipe. But, my BH, in all low level orange shells pays about 6k per wipe.
So, the shell still seems to be a large factor.
Gunslinger in full Prototype Dread Scout
It's costly to look this good......