Looking at the numbers on level 55 bracket, unless I'm missing something, my 28K HP with Partisan gear sure looks better than the guys in 24K HP. I've no idea what they're wearing (maybe they didn't get the memo naked PvP no longer works), but it sure looks worse than what I got. The gear still gives you an advantage. It's just not like the old day where you win 1on2 and thank your EWH gear, WZ adrenal, and WZ medpack for having your back because it sure wasn't your skill that was responsible for winning.
I have 24k hp at 55, wearing my EWH gear.
I think what has most people disturbed is that old pvp gear means absolutely nothing- you pretty much might as well be naked.
There's no question that gear means as much as it always has- and that without it, you will suck at pvp.
This game has always been gear>skill- I don't see why anyone expected a change.