Give Silver a shot, as long as you get a full group and you use your consumables it's pretty good. I keep away from Gold, just doesn't seem as fun to me. Maybe I should try it again sometime, but I've heard some complaining that with the recent DLC and patch, things have gotten harder.
If you want better gear, the best method (its kind of slow) is to level up all the low level stuff with basic packs and Veteran packs....then once you have all those at level X, move up to Spectre/Premium packs. Then you get less low level crap in those higher cost packs. You'll definitely get a rare in the Spectre packs but to get some good weapons it can be a killer wait. I still don't have the Asari Adept (or most of the non starting adepts) and I've been playing since the Demo came out
Also, if you haven't, try to get in on the weekend operations, they are starting them weekly now coming next week I think. Some of those promotional weapons are great (Hurricane, Valiant). Toss the Hurricane on a Turian Soldier if you have it, and bam, you are good for Silver
Actually if you have a Tempest you are good for SIlver too.
Post your username and we can check out your manifest
if you're on PC, add me and we can run some games sometime.
rogue_jay on Origin.
I have noticed a few REALLY hairy rounds on my last few Silver games.