Just to reaffirm what others have said...
- I don't play on the East coast but run with a lot of East coast players and their MS isn't bad enough to notice. It's probably not 30ms, but all of them seem to average ~50ms-70ms.
- More Imps than Pubs, in my experience (Imp fleet is more populated and the level planets are pretty populated).
- Group finder is always a gamble and I have had great and terrible experiences, but more good than bad. For a tank or healer at any level queues are fairly quick, when I leveled my tank (pre-tactical flashpoints) I never waited more than 10 minutes. DPS you can expect a 15-30min wait during primetime (again pre-tactical). Warzones pop pretty quickly and regs seem pretty Rep dominated these days. Reps have GSF on lockdown.
- I can't speak for Imp side but PUGging for Ops on Rep side isn't too bad. I've only had a few poor experiences PUGging a player or PUGging into a group. Skill level in general seems decent and there's usually someone interested in running something.
- Imps have PvE progression on lockdown, as you can tell. However, don't expect to get into any of the Imp guild's A teams, they're mostly recruiting for their C and D teams. There's a lot more room on Rep side to wiggle onto a good Ops team (from what I can tell), but don't expect them to be too serious about server firsts.
- As I said, unranked usually has Reps rolling teams pretty often. I can't speak for ranked.
- GTN is a bit pricey here. Exotic Equalizers are ~35k and Mass Manips float around ~350k.