I decided to pay some money for my free game.
I bought 5000 Turbine Points. They were at 10% off so I paid $49.99.
Now what's nice about this is
1) It's effectively a lifetime sub. I will earn more points by playing and I only buy adventure packs so any points I spend will be with me for good. $49.99 compares very favourably with the cost of a lifetime sub in Lotro or Champions Online, the two titles that offer that facility.
2) I double-dip the discount. 10% off my Turbine Points then I buy packs which are reduced. I just bought two packs at 35% off so the total discount is 41.5%
3) Spending money at the store upgrades me from F2P to Premium. This gives the following benefits:
Character slots: up to 4 per server from 2.
Queue: up to high priority from standard. I've never had to queue anyway.
Chat: up to unlimited from limited (although to be honest the limits were barely noticeable).
Auctions: up to 20 at a time from limited to one at a time (a very heavy restriction). (It says Unlimited in the chart here but Borror0 let me know it's 20 auctions for premium players. Thanks mate!).
Mail: up to unlimited from limited. Never did discover what the limits were, presumably you can't mass mail gold spam to strangers on free accounts)
Gold storage: up to unlimited from limited (although to be honest as a noob I was unlikely to hit the gold cap which is only in effect up to level 12 anyway).
Customer service: full for 45 days up from self-service online. (I've used the self-service once, when I couldn't log in to their forum and they fixed it pretty fast so can't say this is an issue)
Compendium: up to read/post from read only. (If I feel like helping them build their wiki).
Forums: up to read/post from read/limited posting. (It will be nice to be able to post outside of the F2P section. In particular the server forums are read only for F2P which is very restrictive).
So far I have the following balance sheet for Turbine Points:
Earned through playing after a month: 996
Tangleroot Gorge 358 (down from 550)
The Catacombs 200 (down from 250)
The Vale of Twilight 455 (down from 700)
Demon Sands 552 (down from 850)
Between buying the packs when they are heavily discounted and earning more as I play I think I will have a very long way to go before I start getting low on points. I'll probably never get through them.