I can say that Fabrik is one of the better components I have been able to use. Although it is often listed with CCK like components, I think it is quite different. It has a steeper learning curve then most Joomla add ons, but that is expected considering what a developer can do with it.
I charge for my services and so I do not expect everything to be free (shocked by web developers who think EVERYTHING in the Joomla space should be free, are they building websites for free? If so, I have a ton of potential 'clients' for them ;-). I paid for the bronze subscription and felt I easily got my money's worth!
You must be comfortable with some advanced Joomla stuff, and understand a little bit about databases to really get the use out of Fabrik, but once you do you should be happy.
If it is just too much for you then look at K2 and stay far away from Seblod (great tool with similar learning curve to Fabrik).
I made several suggested changes to no avail and I have several js tools I need to include on various pages.
Then I find a link to this module in the Joomla forums and all is well! Easy to install (they offer 3 versions) and immediately worked perfectly!