Bill I don't know who your 'we' is supposed to encompass. I believe I am serious about the research I undertake and the records I use. It is precisely for that reason I need to use paid sites. Nowhere else can I see, without travelling, images of census documents for my country, parish records for many counties or the myriad of other records , I have made use of; from wills to tithe maps, from quarter sessions and criminal records to records of admission to the city guilds. I have been able to acess and hence transcribe and place on wikitree over 60 wills from the 15th -17th centuries. The only way that would have been possible 'freely' would have cost hundreds in travelling costs and hours of travelling time.
Without the monetised incentive for local archives to digitise and licence access, almost all of these records would require expensive trips around the country to view ( as was the case when I started researching my family in the 1970s)
I rarely use family search simply because it has relatively few records of use to me .It has limited transcriptions of the census, and for most parishes only indexes to (some) baptisms and marriages (far fewer burials, an important omission ) for the places I research. There are no wills nor any of the other types of record. Other free sites such as the County OPC sites can be better but as they are volunteer run are patchy. Freereg is better than family search for parish registers, (fuller transcripts) but again coverage is patchy.
I'm doing a very serious MA in Local History. The University thinks it worthwhile to pay for institutional access , enabling students to use one of the paid sites at home.I pay for another myself.