Well, the problem is that you are playing GTNH. That modpack forces you to grind for no reward. (Source: I played it.) GT5u is pretty much dead at this point, as too many unfinished features have been implemented. If you'd like to stay on 1.7.10 please try GT6, Greg did a great job with it. (Muh realism! :D) There is currently a rewrite happening for 1.12+ that should be out in 6 months or so.
is there any modpacks that use GT6 that aren't hella unbalanced or have cheap strategies?