I've played Guild Wars since the first chapter, Prophecies, came out in April 2005. There is no monthly fee. It is free to play online. The game of course costs money. Think they have sold about 6 million copies in all. When GW 2 ANet is going to own a chunk of that $2 billion.
There is a company store. In over five years, fully leveling 7 of the nine classes and completing all three chapters and the expansion Eye of the North with all 7, I have spent a grand total of $27 in the company store. This was for three extra character slots, only one of which I have used for an occasional extra PvP character. My characters have all their primary skills, including all elites. My storage is filled with the best gear in the game. Even my heroes are all equipped with elite gear.
Really, I didn't even need to spend the $27 when you get right down to it. But say $5 a year if you want to.
Now, the company store does have items such as skill kits for those too lazy to unlock them through PvP and there are vanity items such as name changes for characters and chits to get your character's hair style and such changed.
But ArenaNet has not changed its basic policy. Free to play online forever and nothing you need to buy in the company store that is essential to full game play.
Guild Wars 2 will also be free to play online forever. ANet has not finalized the company store offerings, but the lead designer has assured the community that there will be no extra tab to pay for anything essential to game play; and further nothing that will be of such advantage as to "piss off" those who don't want to buy it. ANet had a live playable Demo at Gamescom, but it is not beta yet.
http://playmassive.de/index.php?page=25jhx3ry33dw40kkgswk0owkg direct video, not off screen.