Yeah, I've had all the tools to kick ass and take names on my BH and Trooper since before level 10. Rail Shot, Explosive Dart, CGC, Rocket Punch and Unload are all cool, useful abilities that synergize very well. They also form almost the entire core of my gameplay as both my Commando and my PT. My Commando adds in the odd Charged Bolts here and there, while my PT relies heavily on Flame Burst, but that's about the only difference.
In a sense, I think the BH/Trooper classes are the first gen "pally" equivalent from WoW. That is to say, it's a class that's easy to get into and easy to do well with. The skill usage isn't terribly difficult to figure out (push button, receive damage for the most part, with one or two conditionals) and most fights can be won with a minimum of normal attack usage Compare this to classes that need to utilize their normal attack for a variety of reasons like Assassin, Jugg/Mara, or Sniper and I can see why BH/Trooper are seen as stronger early on.
The flip side is that leveling doesn't gain them all that much. You don't get any really core moves that change how you approach combat. Even going AP/Tactics as a PT/Van doesn't really change things so much as it just alters your pattern of skill usage. Meanwhile, getting Saber Throw and Vicious Throw on your Jugg make a world of difference in terms of how you approach a combat situation. That's part of why I'm fine with Maras and Snipers being quite strong when they're played right; because they're difficult to play right. They require skill usage and resource management that is far more difficult in comparison to most other classes, and they literally live or die based on that management (whereas other classes, like BH, have a lot more room for mistakes made).