Not true. Some of the most expensive software available is available as a 30 day trial. Therefore you get the benefit of becoming acquainted with it before having to shell out for it.
*Watchdog names a few things...
Photoshop AU$1400 - Find me a fault with Photoshop, it's the best imaging software in the world. I don't know a good website anywhere containing good imaging that wasn't made with Photoshop. Tell me if you think Unix apps like Gimp come even close. Photoshop is regarded by the WWW fraternity as 'thee standard' by which all are judged.
ConferenceRoom IRCd AU$7500 - Very expensive for a 5 Meg download but once again you get to try it for 30 days first. In my view better than any freeware IRCd. As an oper on a CR based network I have seen the sheer punishment this software can handle, if installed on decent hardware nothing comes close to matching it. Compare it with the freeware Bahamuck - throw a few warbots at it and it dies but CR just says "ahhh yeah" and keeps on going. An admin that values uptime and resistance to attacks as part of their customer service programme will in light of this see $7500 as chickenfeed.
Flash. I forget the price but once again, another industry standard for that type of product. What freeware version is there? There might be one but I don't know of it. I don't like Flash based websites, but that's just an opinion. It's another example though of expensive software performing well.
Unrelated to your remarks but I'll just add this as well: When I see someone here sulk because mIRC is not ported to Unix/Linux I just laugh at the gall they have, nothing annoys me more than people who expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter. Why don't they write their own chat programme and simply make it look like mIRC. It'll never be mIRC but it would be free and perhaps not as good.