#1 and #4 are essentially the same argument. There's a number of solutions for that - you could start monitoring eBay for a used copy; they aren't terribly cheaper than the original, but still. (By the way, this also says a lot about how much money it REALLY costs if a game that is out since 2006 can still be sold through eBay for about 80% of its nominal price - in other words, if you bought it on release day 2006 then and now sold it for $80, it would have cost you in total $65.- in six years, or $10.84 per year. Sounds like the price is actually very close to that in your argument #1... Occasionally there are special offers from eSim Games. Last November we offered SB Pro PE for $85.-; there was a similar deal at the 10th anniversary for more than three months; similar offers may be made in the future. Fundamentally though, the age-old problem of not having enough money to buy X has a very traditional solution - start saving.
I know, it's not a popular advice, but it's known to be reliable. It works.
The upgrades aren't mandatory, but it seems like they have been juicy enough for most of our customers to actually buy them. How else are we supposed to make money for the ongoing development effort? You may be working long hours for your money - so are we. We need bread and a bed too, and there's a group of us who need to be kept alive. Our effort is worth it - at least to us. Whether it is to you, only you can decide.
Don't tell me that you can't afford
it. If you don't want
it, that's okay. But already by owning a computer-game suitable computer you demonstrate that there's disposable income for needless luxury. Of course there always still the question whether or not you value a product high enough to justify the price, and since value judgment is a highly subjective matter, only you can decide.
I guess, what it really boils down to is that you couldn't yet check out the demo. Fine, let's work on that. Did you contact the official demo email at SteelBeasts.com, or did you try to set it up with someone else who was willing to borrow you a license? Unfortunately, the demo is technically a bit more challenging to set up than the normal version, so you need to think a bit about firewall configuration and port forwarding in your router.
But we're here to give you advice, if you need it.