"ah..the good old pre-ancestry.com days...."
"I virtually quit the hobby when everything started costing money money money. Pay for your Family Tree ??"
I started researching my family tree many years ago when that meant traveling to court houses to view documents and record books. Each trip cost several hundred dollars for gasoline, motels and restaurants. Indexes of holdings were few and far between and some trips produced little or nothing to further my research. If I did find something and wanted copies, I had to pay for those too.
Now, for only eighty-one cents per day, I can access and print millions of records from all over the world; all from the comfort of my favorite chair with the refrigerator just a few steps away. I think that's a real bargain.