What crazy version are you playing? I have to fork over monthly for a hunters license (or would do, if I could actually get my hands on one of the bband adapters).
Was free when I played on my genesis (when it was fairly new). Frankly I don't think I'd pay monthly for it.
If they actually got 600K people to pay monthly Im impressed, but also very very suprised.
Which means your point 2 is also just plain wrong.
True if, as you say, they've changed the economic model.
True it wasn't totally MM, but the players are totally persistant,
Thats quibbling. ALL player data is persistent in any game with a "save", but thats not what people mean by "persistant environment."
NWN characters persist in the vault but, unless someone is running a 24/7 server that evolves it state over time its not considered an "online persistant game."