So basically there is no way for casual players to get level 55 gear then.
Game breaking IMO
So this has made it virtually impossible for unguilded casual players to even get gear so they can handle lvl 55 solo content
umm, not been my experience. I've been able to gear up for the lvl55 solo content with ease, getting gear that can get me through hard mode lvl55 Flashpoints is proving a little more challenging, but certainly not impossible.
the key is: co-operation. most of Oricon (for example) can be run through in a team of two + half decently geared companions. finding a group to run with isn't difficult.