1420 is trying to find a free MMO that doesn't suck. This is no easy feat, and he asked me to PM him the ones I've tried. I did, but realized this can also be of use to others currently trudging through the "free" MMO hellscape.
Free MMOs I've tried (in no particular order, and a few of these aren't really MMOs per se, but have MMO-y features):
Rappelz (Massively cash whored, and little to no content after level 50. The second may have been fixed, the first most definitely will not be.)
Note: Avoid any game by GPotato - they ALL cash whore, and there's several of them.
Grand Chase (started awesome, but they ran the game into the ground with cash gear costing ~$400 - think atlantica's gamble boxes, but not just for mounts), and actually stripping some of the normal gear out of the game so you were farked at high level. I tried the Singapore version of this as well (as the game itself is awesome), and while their cash shop was actually just fine, the transcontinental lag made the game pretty much unplayable.
Note: NTreev also does Trickster, and as they were killing GC, everyone on the forums who had played Trickster said that that was the game they killed first. Avoid that company like the plague.
Dragonica (pretty much followed the atlantica cash shop model... started gentle, and rapidly got ridiculous. The level curve in that game is also asininely steep.) NOTE: I haven't played this since Gravity bought them out. Gravity is generally known to run more sane cash shops, so this may actually be good now, I'm not sure.
Ryzom (I played a beta that functioned more like an early alpha. I don't know if it ever caught up, and for that matter, whether it ended up being p2p or f2p, but the game needed SERIOUS work regardless. It's still alive as far as I know.)
Dufus (the game balance is terrible, nice idea, terrible execution - I think this one may have been p2p or hybrid, not sure. For all I know, they may have even made it playable in the last few years...
Lunia (rampant cash whoring, insane level curve, lack of end game content - yeah, yet another one)
Tinywarz (a bit expensive, but the main problem with the game is a system where new players pretty much can't ever catch up to established ones do to a HEAVY pvp world where you can lose all of your crap in a few rounds (it's a turn-based strategy game attached to an otherwise realtime world... it's weird, but it works) to people 100 levels over you. I'd actually be willing to sink money into this and play it if it didn't have that issue, but you only have to lose about 3 weeks of progress in 7 turns once to not want to come back. )
Frizz actually did a great job of making the game somewhat more newbie friendly, so I'm crossing this off the list of free games that suck.
Godswar (played for about 5 minutes, looked at the cash shop prices, and promptly uninstalled the game. They're seriously THAT bad.)
Earth Eternal (I haven't given this one a fair chance yet, but from what I've seen thus far, massive cash gouging, to the point you even have to purchase skill points. Some claim on the forums it's not nearly as bad as it initially looks though, so I may try it a bit more. I'm definitely not impressed thus far though.)
Rumble Fighter (there flat out isn't much TO the game. I think the prices were actually pretty sane, but the game gets old in a matter of days.)
Rakion (the standard 3 problems - high prices, insane level curve, little to no high level content)
Gunbound (cash players are just about invincible, and you have to RENT the cash items.)
Atlantica (for those who missed that disaster, they shattered their economy to the point you need 0.25 trillion gold for standard, no frills max level gear, and pretty much need to sink $2,000 into the game if you ever want to get anywhere. It sucks, because the game has a LOT of potential and good ideas, but this makes it utterly unplayable.)
Sword of The New World (expensive cash shop, paired with a hidden subscription (you can't level past a certain point without buying an item to do so, and this is the sort of game where you swap characters in and out often, so you're going to need a bunch of said item)
Those are 13 I can think of off the top of my head. I think I've tried a few others, but they were such an epic level of suck that I don't even remember the titles at this point.
Games I haven't personally tried, but got the "stay the fark away" warning from those who have:
Mabinogi (the game has a system built around rebirth, where you reset your character a bunch of times, getting stronger each time. Cashers can do this in a few days, free players can do it in a few MONTHs. Add in other asininely priced items, and yeah, cash or quit on epic scale.)
Maple Story: Insane level curve, insane cash shop with rental items
Anything by Nexon: I believe that's Mabinogi and Maple Story, but they run several others as well. If they touch it, they will milk it.
Runescape: Epic levels of suck - there are seriously no combat skills in this game, at all. Additionally, the "free" is fake - you get a sub to actually go anywhere or do anything. It's basically just a limited free trial that limits you to a section of the world rather than X number of days. (which would be fine if the game was actually GOOD...