A great way to get good gear early on is to level up Goliaths. Pop the helmet, and let them go to work. Take out strong enemies that are able to kill them, or take off most of their health, and let the Goliaths finish them off. Once they reach GOD-liath, you kill them. They will usually drop a purple and a blue item along with some eridium.
One of my favourite areas to do it in is Frostburn Canyon. There are several places there where Goliaths spawn frequently, and there are also lots of weaker enemies. Just kill the fire nomads, and everything should work out fine. If the Goliath hasn’t reached GOD-liath once the enemies are killed in that particular area, just let him chase you on to the next area. Just keep running and jumping around the enemies in the new area, and… voilà!
There are also a few unique/legendary items that are easy to get early on. Lascaux, Gwen’s Head, Flame of the Firehawk. They really make a difference if you’re struggling. Farming for an Unkempt Harold is also something to consider. Even though it will be around level 7, it will still kick ass for a long time. Once you reach Tundra Express, you can farm Goliaths again. You can also farm loot midgets there. They drop nice things from time to time.
And finally… Just because an item is green doesn’t mean it sucks. Compare dropped loot, items in chests or vending machines to your own gear. If it’s better, then it’s better! Simple as that!