I finally paid up a few months back. I kept asking myself what more could I possibly get from this site that I haven't already learned. Then it hit me how much I've learned already!
Sure there's a few new things when you pay, but for me the biggest reason was to give back to tx and support the site that has by far been the best source of information about brewing. Sure I have a several books, and they are a great read and a great source of information, but the sheer volume of new info and cutting-edge experiments makes them a second choice when I'm not in a hurry.
And don't forget the camaraderie that you get here. The competitions and swaps you can take part in.
If money is tight, don't feel bad not choosing a membership over paying bills or giving your family a nice Christmas. But if you can spare it, I think it's well worth the cost to help support the site.