@bobzr I understand your view on this. In fact this is something we keep discussing internally ever since we gained some popularity and working on disroot became somewhat our dayjob (about a year ago) already.
This is not an easy decision. Since Disroot operates globally, the price value is different between countries not to mention individuals, their financial situation and how they perceive money and its value. We believe people should be more conscious, responsible and aware of how internet services operate and how much it costs (we hope that though our campaigning, reporting, we will make this more prominent). Putting price tag from the perspective of west-europeans is very exclusive, privileged and discriminating towards the rest of the world. We operate in numbers like 1euro as if it's peanuts, while few thousand kilometres east, 1euro is already quite some money and we are still talking about europe. We want disroot users to decide themself how much they value our work and do think of contributing amount they think they can afford and think is worth donating. If every disrooter would donate whatever (buy us a coffee each month) they think is right, we not only could invest in better equipment, donate money further to developers of all those awesome open source/libre software we use, but probably also quit our dayjobs and focus 100% on disroot. We want this to be a conscious, educated choice of people rather then forcing people to pay certain amount per month. Of course not everyone will donate but we think there is enough people that are willing to donate not only the bare minimum but also a bit extra that will allow people less financially fortunate to enjoy disroot as free (as in beer) platform
Disroot is and always been our (admins) main service provider, and I think it does not matter whether the accounts are free or paid. Paid-for business model is not guarantee of stability. Recent openmailbox situation is a good example (website went down without prior notice leaving tens of thousands email users without access). We want to try and experiment with different approach where it's the people (users) who pay for the service voluntarily with the best intentions for the future of the project in mind without being forced. just like us when spending another sleepless night on the project.