Is this game mostly a single player game? One of the main complaints about SWTOR is how it's really a "co-op SP game." But this seems even more so. From my standpoint, though, that's probably a good thing. I abhor PUGing, and I don't think I'll be playing frequently enough to maintain a strong friend-base--other than TBBSers, of course.
Cryptic's philosophy is somewhat different (and imho better) than most other MMO companies. All their games are designed to be both soloable and groupable by friends and they frown on pugs.
I'd say the PvE queue system for STFs and FAs and the KDF and FED mirror events blows your assumption that Cryptic (aka 'they') 'frown on PUGs". The 'auto group' feature (which I disabled on my options settings is another indication that Cryptic supports and encourages PUGs - but from they early days of EQ in 1999 - my policy has been: "Just say no to PUGs..."; but Cryptic's in game system philosophy seems to ENCOURAGE PUGing.