So I created another character a Glacier Archetype (tanky/control). Glaciers are meant to freeze/trap certain enemies while getting a lot of aggro and taking a lot of damage.
One thing I noticed from my typical build is that she needs to auto more (this is true of many builds that don't focus on cost reduction or having more energy). There are some levels along the way that you get choices in power, you get to pick whichever advantages you want for the power, and though your super stats are set, the talents you can pick from the super stats are also yours to choose.
In other words, its like picking a class. All the class roles are there, and for $5 you can get a different one. Making a character without pay for items is actually easy, since MOST of the outfit choices are free. Overall, for just trying out the game, you can play it for free for pretty cheap, and what they do sell are either things to help players who sometimes play alone (sidekicks), who don't play often enough to keep up with friends (XP boosts), and costumes/powersets (which are not needed to play the game).
The interesting thing is the random grab bags. I haven't bought one yet, because I'm not sure what is in them, and whether I should bother at all, since I have gold. So if anyone has done those, please let me know.