Well your issue about the design of gear is incorrect. There is a lot of moddable gear in the game where you can pull slots from other gear or get mods for them to get the best stats. You can very much customize your look. In fact, the best gear in the game is completely moddable.
I still play the game and I like that leveling is so engaging. I did the end-game for a few months and when I got tired of that, I re-rolled and I am leveling a Jedi with my friend who is leveling a smuggler. We have a good amount of fun questing together and that will keep us occupied for another month as we get 50 and then we can try some of the new end-game stuff.
In the end, it's an MMO so if that sort of thing isn't your bag, I totally get that. I just find it quite engaging for what it is.