One year ago, I have decided to only use free music for a "few months," which turned into a full year. In the course of this year, I found a number of great artists on Jamendo, as well as a few free downloads of more mainstream type music.
Recently I have renewed my emusic.com subscription, in part because they now have a much larger catalogue which includes M.I.A., Bob Dylan, and Cake, to name but a few whose songs were not available just a year ago.
Looking back on the year without paid subscription, I also realized that I have spent more money donating to artists on Jamendo, to my favourite internet radio station soma.fm, and to the Creative Commons than I would normally spend on the music.
Since we're all being encouraged to give money to some cause or another in celebration of a number of holidays around this time of the year, may I kindly suggest you give to the Creative Commons or an artist of your choice on Jamendo? 'Tis the season, yaknow.