So what is the right time to let the free market loose (assuming we are really in the position to decide)??
When Bitcoin is a self sustaining currency that isn't a few bad press releases from being destroyed.
When looking more closely at the press releases so far, you will notice that the issues reported there are not related to bitcoin-specific things. They stem from long known issues (web security, desktop security etc.) impacting infrastructure used for bitcoin. As bitcoin is decentralized, they can only have limited effect, as they will only create FUD among a subset of (potential) bitcoin users.
People spreading FUD here on the forum are far more dangerous than yet another few bad press releases. So please consider this before continuing to do so.
A pool operator who drives transaction fees up cripples bitcoin, so he also cripples his own profit.
Not in the short term, and that's the problem. There is a benefit to gathering your profits in the short term to the detriment of the long term. That's why it's rude and antisocial. You're putting your own profit motive/greed ahead of what's best for the network as a whole.
Every community has to cope with freeloaders when exceeding a certain size. If bitcoin can really be damaged in a considerable way by the strain of freeloaders you describe, it will be better if it is found out now rather than later when the damage will be greater. This way, we can identify solutions for minimizing the impact on the community as a whole.
Moralizing won't help us here. Instead, it will help if we can actually see the effects you describe, rather than theorizing about them. This way, users will call for solutions, for example through peer pressure: When people are aware of the bad impact certain transaction fee policies have, they will ask for more transparency from pool operators. At some point, a pool operator won't be able to afford not to publish the blocks he creates because users want to protect their investment into bitcoin.
Rather than trying to stop the free market evolve, I think we should focus on exactly the points you are mentioning that are needed: clients should have maximum ability to decide freely. This is also a reason why I put up this thread in the first place. I would hope to improve the transparency of the current pool policies, so everyone can decide which approach he supports. I have enough trust in the bitcoin community's smartness to not abuse this freedom for wrecking the bitcoin network.
I agree, it's coming, but it's not here yet... so my argument against it stands.
Then please elaborate on your argument. So far, I only found a rather negative hypothesis by you, together with an attempt to moralize thnigs in order to avoid facts to be created.
I actually think we do share the same fears when it comes to possible dangers for the bitcoin network, but I would rather see the community find out how far these are based on facts, and find solutions. This will enable the bitcoin network to become even more robust.