I played a Sniper up to the end of Alderaan in beta (lvl 28/29) and have one currently at lvl 15 on Dromund Kaas. I think your average person will probably prefer Operative just because the cover system that is the core of Sniper play is a bit clunky and mandates a very different play style than every other class. It's also probably not the best class for group play in general PVE, unless your group understands that you are not a run and gun class and need to take time to set up before each engagement. It would actually be interesting to run 2 or 3 Snipers together, as that might alleviate that problem.
Sounds like Operative would be more your thing, if you want to be up close and like the idea of stealth.