Bad players will always blame something else, and will eventually just chalk it up to lag. Gear, team composition, faction (yeah, we are mirrored, but that doesn't stop the complaining), resolve/stuns. . .
the list goes on, but that's beside the point. Background. What it all boils down to is
How do you get people to sign into a (hypothetical) game consistently?
With no attachment to the gear itself, or no incentive to stay playing this (hypothetical) game, why would anyone give just one company their money/time? Even if SWTOR provided communication venues like DOTA2, and did away with Expertise/The Gear Grind, would people flock to this game, telling BW to "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY?!?!?11"? Unlikely. Yeah, it works in the consumer's interests to have more options, but on the fiscal side of things, free options hurt some more than others. I won't go too far into that debate, as that could go on forever, but it is something that is worth bringing up.
So, with that being said, what would motivate PvPers to give BW/EA MONEY in the absence of gear?
I am not a non-MMO expert, so I am at a loss for suggestions.
As above poster stated, cosmetics works better than stats.