But see, that's the problem... it's either/or.
You cannot improve your gear without increasing the level of your character and thus decreasing the challenge of the content.
You have to make a choice between the two.
You can experience the content without the challenge or you can have the challenge without the gear.
The scenario you're trying to describe isn't feasible within the framework of the game.
Which is entirely the point of the thread, bringing a new mechanic into the game that means it is no longer an either/or. An item to stop or slow xp would do exactly that, though I do understand the problems that would bring in PVP.
Anyway, I wasn't trying to argue that Bioware should implement such a gameplay device, I can accept there wouldn't be the market for it amongst players to make it worthwhile, I was simply trying to explain the mindset behind wanting such a device.
I have considered unsubbing, but it is too much hassle for what is, at worst, a minor annoyance to me.