As someone who is currently playing WoW, I guarantee you that it IS more cost effective than games like Trickster and LaTale.
$15 a month for lots of content and no shelling out money for ingame advantages (besides maybe buying from gold sellers) is nothing. $15 for a new set of HAX equipment in order to compete with everyone else and look "fashionable" among other things adds up over time.
Unfortunately, the WoW community isn't that much of a step up from TO and LT's..... Yes, the stereotypes of Night Elf and Blood Elf players ARE true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
But yeah, there's been plenty of greedy american companies charging for things like this, let alone charging for things that are FREE in other versions. (Enchanting in LaTale. And let's not forget 12FT and how they charged for Lime and raids in Lunia..... If only more people would not buy from such companies and screw them over like they did with 12FT.)