I gave it a try free-to-play, but there were some difficulties. Considering the sudden flux of new players, I'm considering waiting until Skyrim comes out, or the 15th (also known as the day every gamer became homeless because they spent money on games instead of bills).
I have a friend that's inexperienced in MMO's, so he's been quite biased in favor of the game. I tend to shy away from the genre, with the exception of Planetside. I think the games industry is desperate to make me change, because with DC Universe being free to play, Planetside 2 free to play and the new MechWarrior free to play, well, crap.
According to my pal, as you progress through the game you can find new outfits that permanently add to your customization options. He claims that the item is then available for any character you create later. So if one character finds the Mask of Never-ending Awesome, you can customize its appearance to another starting character. I cannot confirm this, though I do know I wasn't satisfied with my first character creation.
I have a second in mind, but I'm not sure if I'm going to try and queue in today.
I think something worth noting is this game's primary development platform was definitely PS3. I don't want to get into a PC vs. Console argument (partly because I'm Console side, and thus I tend to feel like I'm indirectly called an idiot whenever such arguments arise), but many of the flaws in the PC version may be a result of the development team giving it a secondary priority. That's my guess, at least.