I liked LoTro when I first played. I left when the first or second expansion was up for sale. I think something else was out around that time.
If I were to pick this game up again, would I have anything other than the original cd to pay for?
Was there any kind of graphical update put out after the CD?
Is the community at a healthy level?
As Crawley said the game went free to play a couple of years ago and most of the early level content really is free. But the game has added a TON of content since its launch and most of that will cost you either in game earned currency or real life money. It is possible to play the game for free and unlock a lot of the content just by playing, but that is the long hard road. Your best bet would be to buy the content packs that group a bunch of the content areas together.
By content I mean questing zones. Once you unlock a quest zone you unlock most of the content in that zone.
Also, there is a healthy player base still, but some servers are definitely busier than others.