yeah im playing it a fair bit now, on the Elendilmir server (the unofficial Aussie server). not sure how many Turbine points you need to unlock trait slots, i didn't have to unlock it because i was previously a subscriber. however the only content i see worthy of purchase from the LOTRO store (for non-VIP's) is the expansions & quest packs.
it might be a better idea to subscribe to VIP for one month (~$15) if you're a new player then cancel it, when your account drops back to Premium a month later you still retain some perks from being a VIP, pretty sure you keep a higher gold cap, riding skill, extra character slot, storage and possibly trait slots aswell, not sure on the full details.
personally im staying a Premium account with the necessary quest packs and expansions, kind of like a tight **** life time subscription.