For anyone not interested in WoW because of Cost reasons and such, I suggest you check out the multi-player of Neverwinter Nights. There are 100s of Persistant World Servers out there, and best of all, the multi-player is free!
I will admit that if you find the right NWN PW servers the gameplay and community can be quite nice. Be careful tho... more than a few servers suffer from Battle.net syndrome. (Jerks and kids whose mouths should be washed out with car battery acid.) Not to say WoW is not without flaw in this arena... which is another reason I joined a guild.. I swear if I had to read one more 'Fag' or 'Fagget' (yes they often mispell it) I was gonna flip out and heads were gonna start flyin.