I kinda understand what Bioware had in mid when they released those lvl 55 fp's, they probably thought: "hey most of our players are columi/BH geared so let's give them a good challenge!", good idea... in theory.
See, the problem is the new players, you see, most of them, the first thing they want to do is reaching lvl 55, and since it's so easy to reach it by only doing planetary quests they probably didn't bother doing (and probably never will) our beloved lvl 50 fp's to gear up properly. So what do you see? Pugs in lvl 55 fp's. What happens? lots of wipes followed by trashtalk and ragequitting...
There is another problem: the quality of the loot.
It's bad, a couple of Black Market gear, some crappy blue mods bracers for such hard instances? Meh.
In my opinion lvl 55 flashpoints should have their difficulty toned down so everyone, especially the new players, could enjoy them, and, like pre-2.0 when drops were columi (set bonuses armors), the loot should be arkanian gear.
And ibf L2P UURR DUUR, the goal is to bring new players and introduce them properly for high lvl content, flashpoints should be like the beginner's step to that direction, and not a 4 man operation raid.
Remember Bioware, you want to attract customers, even the noobiest ones, not scare them away, this is Star Wars, not Eve online.
First, the FPs aren't too hard. You can do them in 63s (you can craft purple 66s with purchasable crew skill schematics).
Second, the gear drops are designed to encourage repetition and progression. If they ramped up the loot drops, everyone would just run the thing once then whine about the lack of new content.
Thirdly, I'm glad that there is finally something that is reserved for raiding. Having to run ops to get the set bonuses makes running the ops meaningful. Flashpoints shouldn't drop operations-level gear.
Lastly, I could care less about new players. Honestly, f2p has been a giant pain. I've stopped entering the GF queue unless I'm in a group with most of my guildies. There are too many bad/inexperienced players out there to make it worthwhile to pug (especially with the increase in repair costs).