Like many others in the blogosphere, I'm also wary of Champions Online at this point. I'm an advocate of alternate payment models, and I love the idea of a lifetime membership, but if you had faith in your game, wouldn't you offer it AFTER it's released as well? Not just an exclusive feature for people who haven't played it yet???
Lord of the Rings Online extended their lifetime membership offer for a while after it launched. After it went away, a year later, they brought it back again. I suppose Champions Online, if successful, might bring the offer back as well. But you think they'd let you play the free month from the box purchase first before deciding whether to do so THIS time around.
The fact that they aren't just smacks of desperation.