|I've used most of the file recovery utilities out there so i know what you mean about "it costing". IMHO the most effective recovery utility under most situations I've been is by far a utility called "emergency undelete"|
This is not a free program as far as I know but there is a related product called "undelete" that does offer a free trial:
I'm thinking you may be able to get the free trial and at least see if there are still folders worth saving. Maybe the undelete free trial will tell you if emergency undelete can recover the files should it be beyond the capabilities of undelete?
At any rate "emergency undelete" is pretty sophisticated so if the files are worth recovering this may at least give you an idea if they're recoverable before shelling out any more money.
Hope this helps