No. They offered up Tier 1 for free - with limitation and they had a store where you could buy cosmetics and pets and stuff. I think it was pretty widely recognized that when pvp is the main goal of the game, being able to purchase stuff to enhance your character's ability to fight would throw things way out of balance.
I too know the pain of an MMO I had stopped playing (COH) going away forever. With all the F2P Korean style imports coming into the market, I wonder if we'll see continued (and hastened) culling of properties that just aren't making it.
Part of the problem is how oversaturated the market really is. There are a ton of MMOs out there nowadays, almost all of them f2p, and I don't see that tide stopping any time soon. WoW gets a pass for being such a game changer and already huge, but it's very difficult for a new MMO to gain ground these days.
The issue isn't the number of MMOs, it's the number of MMOs that offer nothing other than a reskin and a minor mechanic change. A few MMOs have realized that people only push the same 3-4 buttons so they've removed the 99 other buttons and made the combat slightly more involved, but it's still the same MMO as the rest.