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Despite how limiting and how much of a mockery F2P looks on the outside I am actually amazed how well it can work and the model (even though Bioware's own adaptation of it is rather stingy with limiting UI elements and such) is actually rather ingenious. Before escrow transfers I actually would of said F2P is just a gimmick and nothing more than a trial but now if you use your head (and if your server doesn't overcharge too much on the GTN for escrow transfers) apart from the expansion you don't really have to pay anything, instead you can get other people to pay for your experience and reward them with ingame credits in return.
I only come back to the game to spend a left over cartel coin grant but I've hardly touched it, most of my vital unlocks bought purely off the GTN. You do need to use your head and know how to make credits in order for F2P to be feasible, for most people they tend to forget/not know that the unlocks can be bought in game or think it's not worth the effort when in reality it's only a couple of hours doing dailies and the limitation can be removed.
I do however think Bioware do need to make their model less of a gouge, especially with menial things like quickbar slots and such.