The only difference is that in PvP, the higher-level content is mixed in with the lower-level content. So if you need better gear to do the higher-level content, then you can never do *any* content. (hence, PvP's current well-deserved reputation of being very newcomer unfriendly)
This simply isnt true. An exceptional player with free blue pvp gear was still better than a bad player in fully optimized ewh.
Lets not even discuss a game like Huttball where strategy/skill leads to 6-0 games because one side just wants to death match. No matter what stats you have, you wont win hutball unless you actually understand the game. Similar situation at hypergate where people death match at mid, not understanding the rules.
Id say pvp is more newcomer friendly than pve. If you just que up randomly for a pug OPS as a fresh 50 not knowing the boss fights, how well do you think you would do?
At least in pvp you get a reward pretty much no matter how bad you were. No matter how many times you were killed, 1 shotted, etc, you get some sort of tangible reward towards getting the better gear.