I feel the need to clear up this for people, since there's still so much hysteria surrounding this topic.
1: NO, EA has NOTHING to do with the development of this game, nor do they dictate how Funcom should get paid from their players, they are ONLY responsible for shipping the physical boxes in North America. Rest of the world EA has no influence over whatsoever. Also, keep in mind that the world does go beyond the borders of the USA. ;)
2: In-game cash shop is ONLY vanity items! You can not buy experience boosters, crazy gear for PvP or anything like that. The cash shop is full of vanity stuff like complete outfits like cowboy outfit, gothic outfit, skater outfit, and several separate pieces of clothing like different types of jackets, vests, pants, bunny slippers (yes!) and sunglasses. The only things in the cash shop that give a tiny advantage is the "starter weapons", a "screaming demon ring" and a pet that heals you the first couple of hours. After playing for 4-5 hours the pet does not give you the healing buff anymore, and you've already found better loot than the starter weapons. Also keep in mind that clothing can also be bought from vendors in the game for regular in-game currency. You dont HAVE TO use the cash shop! No advantage whatsoever!
There! Phew... Just HAD TO clarify that for people.