One thing I've been into for quite some time now has been several browser based games. You know the kind, you are limited to a certain amount of actions each day/hour/etc and you're either pitted against other players or the environment. They are also generally either "Free" to play, or you can just buy whatever macguffin the game is based on, such as Fate for Echo Bazaar or "Notorious Status" in Star Pirates.
Now I generally never pay for such things; occasionally I have (Nationstates, curse you!), and I may even buy some Fate in Echo Bazaar, just to help support the game (It's also required to enter some quests, and can also increase your actions, so I might as well do both~). Even Star Pirates' special stuff helps out without being a game breaker (You recharge your stats 1.5x as fast as normal!)
However, there are always people who will never buy such things, and see it as cheating to do so! In another game I dabble in, OGame, those who purchase "Officers" tend to be ganged up on by vigilante players who want to put an end to official 'cheats. (In this case, I feel they are right; the Officers can do anything from letting you queue build orders, increase your energy supply, or let you get more minerals without building anything! It'd be one thing if it was earned through some kind of action, but when you can just buy it, the richest tend to get the best).
Personally, I don't feel it's too important to stress over; I hope you found something interesting in this, and if you have any questions about some other games, there are plenty out there! Even MUDS are still around, which I may go back to sometime soon.
-Joel de Bunchastu