It is a part of MMO life. You acquire gear to beat more enemies to get more gear to beat more enemies. Eventually you get to "endgame" where you get the best of what is available and wait for something more. I'm currently there in WoW again as well. I've already beaten the final raid of the expansion. We are kinda half-heartedly going after heroic mode kills. Yes, I can get marginal upgrades to my gear, but it would similar to going from a XI to a XII STF set. A handful more points to kill stuff I already had to be able to kill to obtain the gear.
I personally hate gear based progression, too, but it's all we have at the moment. It's not a STO problem, its a genre problem.
i dont care about loot in many mmo i play, only to the point it can be sold for a spare bit of credits to order to level up faster without being killed, so its used on items that improve the toon or units to a point and as cheaply as possible... beyond this i really couldnt give two hoots about drops.