Is it fair for you to ask Ash to work part time on it, so you can avoid paying the price of the license?
Just taking the hook...
I really don't mind paying for construct. What bugs me is that it's no longer going to be an opensource software. I was willing to contribute with all my designer abilities to make a great game-maker. And that's the greatest point of opensource that construct is starting to loose.
I was designing a new interface for construct 2 (since c2 was just an idea) and not just in appearance but in functionality and usability too.
Now my efforts are all in vain, and I'm being pushed into looking at another opensource software simmilar to construct that I can contribute to.
As I follow the Blender community, every day I got more and more impressed at how well it work, and I really wish construct community could be the same way.
Some people have said that construct could never be like Blender because there's not so much people that contribute to it like in other opensource softwares. What I think was the main problem with C0.x, was that not much people know that construct existed in the first place. Most of the people that I know, started using construct because of some randomly friends' indication. My point is, C0.x not worked as an opensource because there was no proper marketing. There were some initiatives to make some exposing, but those never took off. I strongly believe that fixing those problems would bring a lot more contributors.
In my opinion, the closed-source exporters proposal with donations could work with proper marketing, and is the best presented model so far as it benefits from the opensource advantages.
In resume: no problem at all in paying, but please, please put some effort into thinking some models' alternatives to keep the editor opensource, as I think this is the best way to make a great game-maker, and also make construct stand out from competition. It will be a big lost otherwise.
*sorry if I'm being too off-topic