I think a lot of the responses I've read are from people who are in a different boat from the OP. He stated that he primarily plays PvMP and raids. These kinds of LOTRO play have certain "mandatory" costs associated with them that simply playing to the level-cap through the available quest content does not. Repairs, getting and maintaining suitable gear for raids, and the traits for monster toons can cost lots of TP that the other VIPs and lifers who responded may not be spending. It seems as though the OP has a few choices: either restrict his play or spend real money on TP routinely. Personally I don't see many alternatives.
You are probably correct.
I only have one character at top level and raid ready and I'm hardly optimized (no maxed virtue sets, only one set of 2nd age LIs without optimized relics...).
To keep several optimized characters without resorting to the Store would be nightmarish if not impossible (same goes for using only deed TPs).