I'm intrigued by LOTRO now being free. I only play MMOs casually anyway, so I'm already behind the times. How much longer/what extra work is involved to catch up to someone who has a pay account? Assuming we start at the same time.
There are 3 different levels of player: people who have an current, active account are VIP's, people who have paid for a subscription or expansion at some point in the past are Premiums, and everyone else is F2P.
You will have to focus on earning Turbine Points by grinding out achievements/deeds to unlock content past the first 3 'free' zones. I believe it is possible to unlock all zones by grinding deeds/TP's; I haven't done the math, but some sites have.