I've been playing TF2 since it came out on Steam and come back to it time to time when there is a major update. So far I've never used their cash shop, but have tried the trading and crafting systems.
Before these systems were even in place I flat out abused drops. Yup, I was one of the many who missed out on the first wave of the "Cheater's Lament". Though I later got one from the Poly-Count bug.