After my bad experience with Champions where I couldn't play my old characters and didn't have enough slots to create new ones, I was grateful to find that the COH devs had thought things through on that front.
I logged in to find all my characters locked and a total of 13 unlocks available. Freeloaders get a certain number free and I had more due to ponying up for extra slots in the past. I could use my unlocks to make any of my old characters available or open a slot for a new dude. Best of all I didn't have to choose there and then; the unlocks can be saved and used at any time. So I unlocked the Catpain and logged in to have a poke about.
I don't know if I'll stick around and spend any money but if the devs want me to they've at least given themselves a chance by not presenting me with the choice of deleting one of my characters to make a new one for long enough to see whether I wished I could have the old one back, or walking away.