What's the big fuss? Many years ago, I became aware of the fanclub. I was also painfully aware that I'd missed out on the opportunity to buy quite a few excellent fan club CDs. I'm a fan of CH, NF, FB, SE, TF and PC (possibly in that order, but there's not a lot in it). Rather than moan about missing out, I bit the bullet and joined the fanclub on an annual subscription. At some point, a few life memberships were made available, I snapped one up. At no point have I regretted doing so.
Various things have been made available through the fanclub, sometimes exclusively, from cds to advance ticket sales. Sometimes I've taken advantage of such offers, sometimes I haven't. At no point have I ever been forced to buy anything I didn't want. Sometimes I've passed on things because I simply didn't want them, sometimes because I couldn't afford them. Occasionally I've regretted not buying something when I had the chance. My primary interests are rare/unreleased studio recordings, signed copies (of full releases) and concert ticketing/information. I'm not that interested in live recordings and ephemera, but those that are interested in such items are well served.
It's a shame that anyone would feel quite so aggrieved over what is essentially a very simple concept. For good or ill, fanclub members have the opportunity to buy some rather exclusive things. The various Split Enz affiliates and offshoots invariably look after the loyal fanclub members well in this regard. I can't really understand the reluctance to join the fanclub. Unless it's a financial impossibility, to refuse strikes me as cutting off your nose to spite your face.