There's just no way to avoid the fact that folks who picked up Star Wars The Old Republic last year at full price are going to feel like a bunch of chumps now that the game is going free to play. Bioware revealed that there will be plenty of new items and features and bonuses just for the folks who bought a copy of the game. Further, new people coming as a free players will be limited in how far they can advance in the game and limited in the areas they can explore and gear they can use.
Please direct yourself to the official letter from Bioware for all the details.
The fact remains though: buyers of SWOTOR had to pay to play through those first 50 levels that noobs will now get for free. Even with the restrictions, there will be a flood of folks hopping into The Old Republic now that it's free. For cheapskates like me, finally crossing over to the Dark Side for free, the challenge will be withstanding the amped up marketing efforts EA is sure to unleash on all of us free players. The calculation there is: whatever EA loses in new subscriptions will be covered by the new nickels and dimes (the fun you choose will cost) they're going to be pinching off of a tipping point number of new players.
Keep it here for Star Wars The Old Republic because this whole thing just got more interesting.