Posting here to save it.
And this is the heart of the issue regarding F2P in general: the developer controls the supply of "goods" and
can artificially create demand by changing the game.
As long as they stick to things like cosmetic items and "pure convenience" items like storage (more arguable, but manipulating the demand for more storage is a lot harder to accomplish), F2P stores can be fine. Even "grind reduction" items can be OK if they reduce an already existing grind, though the line gets a lot finer when new grinds are introduced. But once you get consumables (oh, look, they added store-bought potions that cure three "conditions" right around the same time they introduced an instance cluster with more "conditions" being applied than ever before), basic statistics (oh, look, they added stat tomes and then redid the stat system to make stacking stats more desirable), and equipment (oh, look, in the interests of creating a more dynamic player-based economy they added store-bought crafting tools that compete directly with crafted crafting tools and store-bought armor that competes directly with crafted armor), then you're not starting
down a slippery slope, you're actually quite a ways down that slope and accelerating rapidly.
The reality of the Turbine F2P model is that it's very similar to the coal mining industry around the turn of the century in the US. If you were a coal miner, you lived in housing supplied by the mining company (and paid rent determined by the mining company), you wore clothing sold in the company store, and you used safety equipment and tools sold in the company store (and you could only
use that equipment and those tools, because they were "certified" by the company for "your safety and that of your colleagues"). Sure, you weren't a "slave" because you could quit your job; good luck finding another one, though.
Well, sure, people could stop playing the only Tolkien-based MMO; good luck finding another one based on that same body of work, though.