I play a Powertech that is currently level 44, I started leveling him 2-3 weeks ago and I have gone a hybrid build that is deep Pyrotech / Shields. I sustain immense damage whilst still taking a good beating, the class has alot of mobility which makes pvp (more directly Huttball)
I personally get a thrill from "Grappling" people off edges or into death-pits, as for PvP gear, early on it doesn't matter the slightest. With the player scaling in the 10-49 bracket everyone falls to about the same class of durability anyway, no matter how much pvp/pve gear you have, the only real variance comes with class skills (shields, heals etc.)
A Powertech is more difficult than most classes but a good rotation for the level 50's that are looking on is; Rocket Punch - Rail shot - Flame thrower - Flame Burst. You want to try and stay at or less than 40 heat so it is good to save Unload for a heatdump around the 40-50 heat mark.
I suggest if this is your first character or if you are new to MMORPGS that you re-roll while youre still a low level and player a Merc, a much, much simpler class.
I hope this helps, if you need any more information or would like to talk about this on Ventrilo etc send me a PM.