Of COURSE we don't have to grind or buy from the cstore.
We can always choose to have sucky low end equipment.
That is what you use, right? Of course you do, I bet you defeat elite STFs using level II stuff.
Hey, if your goal is to defeat elite STF's, what do you know, that's exactly the group of people STO's economy is targeting!
Those who can be satisfied with defeating the normal STF's or heaven forbid not even play the STF's because of their story shortcomings and combat-heavy (or should I say 'only') focus... those bunch, get to play STO entirely for free spending their time.... having fun!
Cool concept, eh?
EDIT :: I mean, lets face it, STO will make a pretty awesome singleplayer/co-op game after it goes F2P.