I totally agree. Stack Overflow is awesome and a great alternative to EE.
When I searched for a programming answer and EE came up, most times the questions and answers were relevant. I never opted to pay for the service, and I stopped clicking the links to EE because I didn't want to pay. However, that didn't mean they didn't have the relevant answer, and I just had to pay for it if I wanted it.
I don't find this deceptive, just a form of advertising.