Freemium games not all bad
I have a mild Clash of Clans obsession and I think its really very balanced, and a great example of how these kinds of games can work. There is nothing in the game you have to pay for, as you get given small amounts each week for free of the in-game currency that you can also buy. The fun of the game is slowly making your way up the levels and while splashing the cash can speed things a little, you'll never notice the difference when playing between the people who have spent a bit of cash and those that haven't.
To be honest, you need a while playing to learn it well and the game penalises you to a significant extent you if you rush one aspect far ahead of the others. The people you can tell have splashed a lot of cash are usually really bad at the game, and have hugely unbalanced bases which make them easy and well worth attacking.
As to how much I've spent? About £15 through 18 months of playing, which I think is really very good value if I think of how much the latest Call of Duty cost me. I'm on level 9 of 10 so pretty far through (TH9, level 20 heros, max troops and part level 10 and part level 9 walls for anyone that plays it)