I think the client should be free of charge and you only pay a subscription fee.
If a company wants to charge for the games client than when it decides to close it, it should provide the community the tools and means for people to create their servers. Since this last option is a lot more complex and at the same time not suited for every multiplayer game, I think at least the first option should be applied.
Then by all means, feel free to make one of these ferociously expensive games and market it the way you think it should be done. Until and unless it's your millions of dollars invested, I don't think your opinion really carries much weight, nor should it.
You know, I want to say something snarky at you. But if you know about it, you're right. There are actually a few of these kind of MMOs that you didn't "buy the game" but you paid, one way or another, monthly. Some Korean, there are even some American and European made ones that I promise 99% of the people that would play MMOs, has never heard of.
The point is, every single one of these games are pretty crappy. They lack content and polish. They really didn't have the budget to make it, what we could call, an AAA MMORPG. I'm not saying Shadowbane succeeding in being an AAA MMORPG, but it tried. The "alternative business model" MMORPGs don't even try to compete on that caliber.
Well, someone with millions is going to try. Sony's Free Realms. Really compete on the AAA level. I guess we will see if that business model is profit. Whatever you think about that MMO and SOE, atleast they'll try.