The same as previous users, I feel morally obliged to state that your reasoning is flawed.
The most flawed is the playchess free. No, it is not free. You are given a trial. A month and if I am wrong, correct me.
Even during the trial, we cannot chat with other players and send message.
I have seen many free chess sites or the free features are not good and not improving such as chessjam. Experiencing chess there is so horrible, except the social things. Hi there hi here. Some chats, become friends, group, etc. However, it is fue to the small user base that we know each other too well. It is even plagued with engines accusation.
Here in CC, I feel better, safer. The interface is slick and bright. The movement is smooth, especially without animation.
Even the default sound of taking pieces is enjoyable.
What CC lacks is mobile apps.
People play chess in their free time. Most of them is spent on the road.
Those who can purchase the mobile phones required to play the app is more than qualified and willing to pay. Thats why one of CC's competitor has it on Iphone and Ipad. It would be better in new Windows phone 7 using silverlight since CC can leverage its ability to give users the same experince mobile and desktop. Android gives more exposure to different classes of people.
What I haven't seen from paying chess sites is the PDF literatures. I would like to see it here. CC can have special different watermark for different books commissioned to different people.
And why not the best games list to be seen and downloaded ? From what I have seen the best games are for 2000+ rated players only. I would be good if there is segmentation (range) so users can associate with those closer.
Final verdict : CC is on the right direction. When I first felt it today, I know CC is set to brighter future. It does not stop improving.