Well, just my 2 pence worth..
I was possibly the most sceptical person when it came to online dating of any kind, free or not. I did the whole 'I would never ever even try, they are all nutters etc' thing, in fact I looked at a few sites including POF, Match etc and it was a depressing experience, I wondered how civilisation has survived at all if this was a large sample of the population. (male in this case). I never intended to start any conversations through this...
Then something happened, very accidentally and through a pretty amazing chain of events, and now I have met someone brilliant, and very normal too - we may be 2 of the few normal ones on there of course
but it just shows. I went through so much soul searching and worrying - will there be chemistry? how do you deal with meeting someone face to face AFTER getting to know them so well as if you'd known each other for years..etc) but very glad I took the plunge.
It's not much different than any other way of meeting people. Beer goggled conversation in a bar.. random meeting in the street... string of emails at work which leads to something more... just another way.
Good luck everyone and honestly, you just have no idea what is around the corner.