I read this post on the swtor forums and Im glad youve posted it here as well. I share your sentiments.
I am surprised how so many people on the swtor forums argue that this is not pay2win. People are stuck on this notion that something is not pay2win if it is attainable in game. Giving people the ability to circumvent the grind/effort required to attain endgame gear with rl money is the very definition of pay2win.
Disturbing is the fact that people believe Bioware allows cartel items to be sold on the AH out of benevolence, when in reality they know they will reap greater profits by allowing those with excess dollars to churn these items out for credits. One person may be a single speeder for himself, while another buys twenty to sell for credits to buy mods from the AH.
The entire focus of the the games development now has devolved into designing new armor and cartel pack items. Since f2p, the only content that has been released is the piecemeal content that was meant for actual content patches. New cartel armor is a regularity, and still the punitive credit costs related to removing and purchasing high end mods remains.