Nothing online is free. Someone, somewhere pays for everything. Bandwidth costs keep increasing, servers have to be added, things replaced, etc and it all comes out of someone's pocket. It costs to keep a service like this running. I would imagine that most folks offer free boards in hopes that once you've tried the service and get a chance to see what they offer, you'll consider upgrading and that will offset the costs. Personally for the incredible amount of features on BbBoards, I've often wondered how they could get by only charging 2.50 per month for the paid boards.....let alone allow so many free boards to be created. (BTW, that's not a hint to hike the prices, BbBoy!)
I paid $6 per month at our last board host and it didn't have a tiny fraction of the services here and you could forget tech support - it was virtually non-existent. I'm sure there will be a lot of people not happy about being asked to pay 2.50 a month, but considering what you're getting for that, I don't really think there's much room for complaining. You probably can find some free board hosts still, but you have to take into account what kind of service you'll get and speaking from experience, I can say with confidence, it's not likely to be anything like what you get here. I'm pretty sure most of us blow more than 2.50 in a day on all kinds of misc. things - pop into Starbucks and you'll pay more than that for a cup of coffee, ya know? So 2.50 a month for an awesome board doesn't seem like money grubbing greediness to me and I'm on a tight budget myself.
Anyway, just my two cents.