Now that my huntress has reached level 72, almost ready to enter Rohan (after almost half a year), I feel that I can give some not too outdated advice for those that are new to the game.
IMO opinion you do not need to spend much (real) money, in order to have an enjoyable experience. If you do it right, and become lucky on the sales, between $15 to $35 suffice.
On the other hand, you will have to spend at least some real money, in order to ensure a smooth game play right from the start. YES, you can play the game completely for free. But the early going will be rough. This guide is about convenience, and what is essential to ensure that you get it. Convenience can be bought right from the start, via a few well timed real money purchases. But you can also earn that convenience ingame, by grinding the necessary TP.
For all essential benefits, I will list their cost in TP (and real money, if applicable). So you can decide for yourself, whether you want to spend the real money, or rather grind the TP.
EDIT (shameless self-promotion):
BTW, if you like this thread, I make a related one on "how to maximize your return on investment" in Lotro:
I know at least one forum member, who found it (partially) helpful, despite its length ;-)
[dunno if anybody read everything]