Some excellent responses here, but they haven't addressed your follow-up concern.
You should absolutely wait until max level to start worrying about augments. Huge waste of time/money if you're not max level yet.
Agreed if you're doing PVE.
But since I sell leveling Augments for profit, I can guarantee there are people who are Augmenting their gear while leveling--and my understanding is that it's PVPers looking for whatever edge they can get.
So if you PVP, you may (or may not) want to look into it.