I've done nothing but farm work, help hobbits set up a festival, chase animals and beat up brigands for two hours, and I loved every minute of it.
It's strange really, I've played practically every major MMO at this point, and the only one to grip me alongside WoW is LOTRO. Personally, I'm tired of being treated as the SAVIOUR OF THE UNIVERSE as soon as I hit level 2. Hell even by level 20 in LOTRO I still often help ordinary folk with ordinary things, and I enjoy that. If I want over the top epicness there's a million and one games that do that, but LOTRO keeps things level headed for the most part (Excluding a dream sequence that was hamfisted in at level 5 where YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE or some crap, but that's generally disregarded by the community and even the devs as it has yet to be brought up again). This is greatly aided by the fact the MMO is based on the -books- and not the films, which is a great relief as Radaghast for example isn't an insane lunatic and there's no mention of a rabbit sleigh just yet.
That said, when the drums of war sound, and orcs and goblins march, the game isn't afraid to take a turn into the dark and foreboding. The sky goes from a clear blue to a grim dark grey or even red as I approach Angmar, the woods and wildlife growing more desolate. I can't help but feel I've only made a small scratch in the surface of the adventures that await me yet. The mundane quests are gradually being set aside in favour of "Oh god, ♥♥♥♥'s going down, halp pls" from townsfolk, which suits me fine.
Having sunk money into the expansions and quest bundles as they were on sale (Fairly frequently), I have all but negated any -need- to subscribe. A subscription at this point would only give me a few more character slots (Which I don't need, already have five), access to PvP (Which I have no interest in), a daily XP bonus (Which doesn't last very long) and an allotment of premium currency (Which I don't really need either).
I subscribed for a single month a while ago, and that has removed currency limits, given me more character slots, and even removed the lock on my class, race and virtue trait slots on all characters I played back then.
A lot of people are put off by the in-game store, yes it does pop up now and again, especially after level 30 or so if you haven't bought any zone quest packs, but really at the point I'm at I don't really see it all that much.
Additionally, you can grind out premium currency in a fairly adequate amount, hell last time the expansions were on sale I managed to get one -purely- by grinding. It was a bit boring, but it was helped by a lovely bunch of max level players offering to help newer players like myself farm out the currency. There's even guides on getting said currency in a quick, efficient manner, if a little repetitive as it involves making characters and doing specific tasks over and over.
Is the game perfect? No, it shows some signs of age, namely in the graphics (The Beoring race/class is a fair grade higher quality than the other race models), some could argue the combat was clunky. But it's otherwise well-preserved, namely with exquisite attention to detail. Weapons make different sounds on hitting enemies based on what the enemy is or what they wear, rather than the same generic SFX being heard for hours on end, to name just one example.
As a frequent role-player, LOTRO holds the crown as the most RP friendly MMO I can think of, cut down only by it's rather archaic housing system, which is very restrictive in terms of decor (Seriously, you have to place furniture in fixed locations, meaning my bed has to be in the middle of a room...). Which is a shame, as the RP community has shrunk significantly, to the point where the only prominent RP takes place in the prancing pony inn. And obviously the quality there can often be... lacking. A great shame, but the game is niche so a tiny RP community is expected.
tl;dr: The game is good, try it. Premium currency can gradually be gained for free. Wait for zone quests and expansions to go on sale before buying them. if you like the game, considor subbing just for one month to remove the worst of the limitations on your account and characters (Remember to login to each character to unlock their traits etc while you're a VIP).